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Huge crowd mourns Trooper Radulescu at candlelight vigil

Hundreds of people held candles Monday evening at a vigil honoring Washington State Trooper Tony Radulescu outside the Christian Life Center in Port Orchard. - Brett Cihon/Staff photo
Hundreds of people held candles Monday evening at a vigil honoring Washington State Trooper Tony Radulescu outside the Christian Life Center in Port Orchard.
— image credit: Brett Cihon/Staff photo

Mourners gathered outside the Christian Life Center in Port Orchard for a candlelight vigil Monday evening honoring slain Washington State Patrol Trooper Tony Radulescu.

Family members of Radulescu, holding candles and carrying tissues, spoke at the gathering.

"This so unspeakably hard for the family," said Erick Radulescu, the trooper's son. "He was the glue that held the Radulescus together."

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste and Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer, who was once Radulescu's WSP supervisor, also spoke at the gathering, which drew close to 1,000 people. Both shared memories of Radulescu, and agreed he was woven from a special cloth.

"He was the best of the best," Boyer said.

He recalled the Romanian-born Radulescu's irrepressible good nature.

"Tony was always smiling," Boyer said. "Tony couldn't help himself; he couldn't not smile."

Radulescu was shot in the head by Joshua Blake during a traffic stop on State Route 16 near Gorst in the early morning hours of Feb. 23. A memorial service will be held at the Showare Center in Kent at 1 p.m. Thursday.

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