SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Christopher Wystepek is still in shock after learning his college friend, Officer Billy Evans, was killed in the line of duty Friday. Wystepek saw his picture on the news after a man rammed his car into a blockade outside the Capitol in D.C. killing Officer Evans.
“The reason why he’s recognizable is that smile, like once I saw that smile, I was like, ‘that’s Billy,’” Wystepek said.
Wystepek knew Evans from Western New England University in Springfield.
“He was a very humble individual, he never liked being center of attention, but he’d do whatever he can to help you,” Wystepek said. “He would give his shirt off his back, even when he came in as a freshman, you knew his dream was to become a police officer.”
Evans graduated in 2002 after majoring in criminal justice. Jack Claffey was one of his professors.
“That period of time was kind of different because a lot of our students, it was after 9/11 and a lot of our students in the criminal justice program, they were affected by 9/11,” said Claffey, a criminal justice professor at Western New England University.
Claffey said Evans was a great student who wanted to serve as a federal officer. A year after graduating, Evans left Massachusetts to become a Capitol Police officer in D.C., where he served for the last 18 years.
“Hero is not too great a platitude for a guy like Billy, someone who gave his life doing something like that,” Claffey said.
While Evans died doing the job he loved, his loss still weighs heavy on those who knew him.
“I think we’re all just trying to take it in right now and take one step at a time, just walk in his shoes and think, ‘what would Billy do?’” Wystepek said.