Tribute for fallen Metro officer goes up at Opry Mills restaurant

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A tribute to the Nashville police officer who died in the line of duty earlier this year is now on display at a popular restaurant inside the Opry Mills Mall.

Officer Eric Mumaw died Feb. 2 during a water rescue on the Cumberland River.

“We all realize that that could happen to anyone of us, but when it does happen, it really hits home,” said Madison precinct Commander Sebastian Gourdin.

Eric Mumaw (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

Gourdin said the images from the day Officer Mumaw died do not go away.

“From time-to-time, it’ll come up,” he said.

Since then, Mission BBQ has been stepping up to make sure those in blue are taken care of on-duty.

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“They were there for the memorial for Officer Mumaw. Throughout the year, they’ve always volunteered to come out to the precincts,” said Gourdin.

On Wednesday, Lee Blackwell and Metro officers added a frame to the restaurant’s Wall of Honor, remembering Mumaw for his sacrifice.

“When people walk in here, it is just a reminder of why they can walk in that door free and safe,” explained Chief Steve Anderson.

PHOTOS: Officer’s body found after water rescue

Blackwell said the restaurant’s original shop opened in Maryland 10 years after the attacks of 9/11.

For five years, their goal has been to serve good food and remind people that freedom isn’t free.

Photo: WKRN

“American heroes to us is anyone who raises their right hand to protect our country and our communities,” said Blackwell.

Gourdin said the officers with Mumaw that day are back to work but some days are tougher than others.

“Whenever these types of things [tributes] happen, it brings back up those memories,” he said.

Gourdin said having the support of those in the community helps.

“They’ve always been there supporting the Metro-Nashville Police Department through the good times and the bad times,” he said.

Officer Mumaw was the 18th officer with the Metro Police Department to die in the line of duty.