A community unites, first responders pay tribute – and Shield cries for his best friend.

October 25, 2017

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

It was a gut-wrenching, yet beautiful morning and afternoon as the community came together.

Photo taken by Mercy Flight WNY

Photos captured by Mercy Flight show the scope of the procession as it carried Officer Lehner’s body from the funeral home to Key Bank Center and then from Key Bank Center to Forest Lawn Cemetary.

Photo taken by Noah Unger

The dark, rainy weather set the tone for the day; for the tribute.

Lt. Sal Losi who heads up the Buffalo Police K-9 unit has said that Officer Lehner and his partner, Shield were basically inseparable, training all the time.  Perhaps that explains that moment, in the midst of silence – you could have heard a pin drop in front of Key Bank Center – until Shield started crying.  It was just heartbreaking. It was just as Officer Lehner’s casket came along, Shield started to cry. It wasn’t a bark. Wasn’t a howl. It was more like sobbing. It was a touching moment for sure. It was then, Shield followed behind the casket all the way into the Key Bank Center.

Seeing law enforcers from all of this country and beyond was amazing. But, it was the public; regular people, who lined the routes, and filled the center that is quite remarkable. Even in the rain, many Western New Yorkers stood, waving flags, tears falling, prayers going out. Children and adults lined the streets, hand over heart – honoring the fallen hero.



Officer Craig Lehner will always be remembered as a hero.

His partner, Shield will stay with the Buffalo Police K-9 unit. He will be retrained and will work with a new partner.

This community never fails to unite in times of tragedy. From those blue pumpkins, to blue lights, to this incredible show of love and support.  Western New York is an amazing place and this city – is better – because of p

dog photos credit: Tiger Schmittendorf

eople like Officer Craig Lehner and all of those today – who came to say goodbye.


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.





1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    I watched the television coverage of the funeral of Craig E Lehner from 9 to 2:30. I was moved to tears throughout the telecast. It was a fitting tribute to a police officer who gave up his life in the line of duty. My sympathies to the family of Craig Lehner.

Submit a Comment