A 9/11 memorial foundation announced Tuesday it paid off the mortgage of the home of a fallen Auburn police officer following a multi-week long national fundraiser.
The Tunnel to Towers CEO and Chairman Frank Siller announced on Fox News that the mortgage of Officer William Buechner and five other homes have been paid in full, the foundation said.
Buechner was shot and killed in the line of duty May 19 while responding to a domestic violence complaint. Two other Auburn police officers, Webb Sistrunk and Evan Elliott, were injured during the incident.
Capital murder suspect Grady Wayne Wilkes is in jail, facing numerous charges for the shooting.
The fundraiser for the Buechner family mortgage began in June.
Buechner left behind his wife, Sara, and two children, McKenna and Henry.
The announcement follows a $2 million donation to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation from Rush Limbaugh, a national radio host.
Limbaugh donated a portion of sale proceeds from his “Stand Up For Betsy Ross” T-shirts to the foundation.
In addition to paying off the home of the Buechner family, the following homes were paid off Tuesday by the foundation:
- Officer Matt Baxter, of Kissimmee, Florida. Baxter was killed in the line of duty on Aug. 18, 2017.
- Chief Steven DiSario, of Kinkersville, Ohio. DiSario was killed in the line of duty on May 12, 2017.
- Firefighter Mitchell Lundgaard, of Appleton, Wisconsin. Lundgaar was killed in the line of duty on May 15, 2019.
- Arizona Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White. White was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 29, 2018.
- U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan Farmer. Farmer was killed in a suicide bombing on Jan. 16, 2019 in Syria.
Tunnel to Towers
The fundraiser was established to help relieve some of the burdens on the Buechner family.
“It’s just one less thing they have to worry about,” Trevor Tamsen, assistant manager of media relations for the foundation, said in June.
Buechner’s fundraiser was established as part of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Fallen First Reponder Home Program. The program aims to assist the families of fallen first responders, especially those with young children, according to previous reports.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation was founded on 2001 to honor fallen New York firefighter Stephen Siller, who lost his life on Sept. 11 of that year.