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Friends and coworkers say Officer Owens-Riley leave a tremendous legacy behind

Members of the community remember Officer Tyrell Owens-Riley.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Officers from around the Midlands sent messages of sorrow to the Columbia Police Department in the loss of Tyrelll Owens-Riley. One of his friends spoke with News19 about Officer Owens-Riley's life and the legacy he leaves behind.

“Every time I’d see him he ask me ‘Man you put in your application in yet? I believe in you, you can do it,’" Braylyn Salmond said.

Salmond worked with Owens-Riley at the Columbia Police Department. Salmond said he wasn't an officer but was aspiring to do so, and Officer Riley helped him become a Deputy with Richland County. He said Riley was a mentor.

Officer Owens-Riley died of a heart attack following a department training. Braylyn said he received the call on Saturday.

“They called me and told me and I was like you’re not telling the truth I do not believe this," he said.

He's not the only one feeling this loss in Officer Owens-Riley. Law Enforcement agencies from across the midlands sent condolences to CPD. 

Columbia Police Department parked Riley's patrol car at headquarters and draped it in flowers and a black cloth. While at the memorial site, one of Riley's fellow officers placed flowers on the windshield.

Braylyn said Officer Tyrell leaves behind a tremendous legacy.

“A great legacy here at CPD. He’s one of the officers that will never be forgotten. It’s 2022 now and in 3022 people are going to know who Tyrell Owens-Riley was.”

His family is still working to arrange a funeral for the fallen officer.

RELATED: Columbia Police mourn sudden loss of officer to medical emergency

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