Gallery: Photos of slain St. Paul Police Officer James Sackett were on display outside his home Friday on the 50th anniversary of his death in the line of duty. A parade of flashing squad cars cruised past the home of a fallen St. Paul police officer, saluting a man most had never met.

His widow was waiting.

Jeanette Sackett, flanked by the four children she raised alone, wiped away tears for the husband who was stolen from her.

“Fifty years ago may be a long time, but it seems like yesterday,” Chief Todd Axtell said Friday afternoon as he presented 50 blue-tipped white roses. “He gave his life for his community.”

James Sackett was felled by a sniper’s bullet on May 22, 1970. The Air Force veteran was 27 years old, had been on the force 18 months, and was on his first day back after the birth of his youngest child when he and his partner were lured to a Selby-Dale area house on a phony medical call about a woman in labor. Suddenly, a .30-caliber bullet struck him in the chest.

For responding officers like Dan Bostrom, that ambush marked a defining moment in their careers. It had been more than a decade since the department’s last line-of-duty death, he said, and it never crossed his mind that they might not make it home. Jeanette Sackett was comforted by her son, Jim Sackett Jr., her daughter, Julie and son Jerel as she was overcome with emotion Friday during a memorial procession outside […]

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