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Brother of fallen Cleveland officer Shane Bartek suprised as 430 students pay tribute

Students at St. Mark School showed their appreciation for police and Shane Bartek by sporting blue shirts with the number 18 on them. 18 was Shane's badge number.

CLEVELAND — Students at St. Mark School in Cleveland took a step away from their classes on Friday to surprise the brother of fallen Cleveland police officer Shane Bartek. 

Eric Bartek is the maintenance director for the school and is beloved by students.

The students showed off their appreciation for police officers and Shane Bartek by sporting blue shirts with the number 18 on them, which was Shane’s police badge number.

“I didn't know Shane personally but knowing his brother…as I told his brother, when I learned of [Shane’s passing] it's family,” said Saint Mark Principal, Karen Cocita.

Principal Cocita had an idea to surprise Eric and her idea of having all of her students sport a blue t-shirt with Shane’s badge number came to life. Students delivered quite the surprise but students like Caroline Ross were surprised, as well.

“This is actually really a surprise because I didn't know [my dad] would come,” said Ross.

Ross’s father is an officer for the Cleveland Division of Police. Officer Thomas Ross has been on the force for 22 years.

“I know she's getting to the age where she understands things and knows that this could be me,” said Officer Ross.

It’s a sacrifice so many men and women and blue make each day. Officer Shane Bartek paid the ultimate sacrifice and the students at Saint Mark say they will never forget it.

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