Then & Now: Conklin remembered 20 years later

More than 500 police officers from three states crowded
into the Hastings City Auditorium for Joel Conklin's funeral
in this Oct. 13, 1993, file photo.

Then: Hastings police officer Joel Conklin responded to a domestic disturbance call on Oct. 9, 1993. He was the first to arrive at 514 S. Maple Ave. where Sylvester Frank Pettit, 35, of Spring Ranch had taken the woman who owned the house hostage.

Without a word, Pettit fatally shot Conklin with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Pettit fled the scene with the hostage. He shot and killed himself as law enforcement caught up with him near Republican City.
Now: Family, friends and fellow officers remembered Conklin during a short ceremony Wednesday at the Hastings Police Department for the 20th anniversary of his death.

The family and officers held a private ceremony at Conklin's burial site in Juniata before returning to Hastings for a public remembrance.

To read more, see Friday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>>

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