SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)-Officer William “Billy” Evans, was killed Friday, after he sacrificed his life defending the capitol building from an attacking vehicle.
The western Massachusetts native, rose through the ranks to become a capitol police officer in Washington D.C. but his criminal justice education began in Springfield.
“Everything we know about Billy Evans was that he was a good man, a good father, a good friend, and our prayers go out to he and his family,” said Dr. Robert Johnson, President of Western New England University.
22News was able to speak with one of Officer Evans’ former professors, Alfred Ingham. He said Billy was the type of person who would do anything for anyone.
“He was a wonderful individual. The type of individual, that anybody could go up to and he would assist them in any way that he possibly could, would go above and beyond to accomplish his job,” Professor Ingham said.
Officer Evans graduated from Western New England in 2002. He was a leader and respected on campus, and made many lifetime friendships, while earning his bachelors degree in criminal justice. The university has moved their flags to half staff in his honor.
“He was a big man on campus from what I understand,” said Dr. Johnson. “Everyone who was around at that time knew of him, and we will not let his memory be lost here at Western New England.”
While at Western New England, Evans was a member of the baseball team, the bowling club, and the campus activities board. His close friends have been reminiscing about their time together on campus, describing him as someone who extremely humble and always willing to help others. For 2002 WNE alum Chris Wystepek, the memory that stands out the most was from their time in the bowling club.
“When I found out what happened that was the first thing that stood out, how he helped me and just welcomed me as far as the club,” said Wystepek. “Yeah it was a lot of fun.”
Wystepek had been in contact with Evans since graduation. They may have graduated together 19 years ago, but for him, it really felt like yesterday.
“I mean 19 years ago seems like a long time, but when you have friends it doesn’t feel like that,” said Wystepek.
Officer Evans was also a proud father of two children, Abby and Logan. The Western New England University community will ensure his memory is never forgotten. As their mantra goes, once a golden bear, always a golden bear.