Tribute to fallen former St. Louis police sergeant extends to East Coast; NY Yankees send condolences

ST. LOUIS – It was a day of mourning and remembrance for a former St. Louis police sergeant who was shot and killed in an attempted armed robbery.

Funeral services were held for Sgt. Ralph Harper Friday morning.

Harper, 67, was killed Monday morning during an attempted robbery in the 3100 block of Lackland near Tower Grove Park.

Two teens, aged 15 and 16, are charged with second-degree murder in the case.

Many continue to grieve the loss of the man who was well liked in the community.

Former St. Louis 15th Ward Alderwoman Jennifer Florida spoke fondly of Harper.

“He was an unsung hero who kept an eye on things,” she said. “He wanted to see Tower Grove be the best that it could be.”

To many people, the former public servant – who had more than three decades serving the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department – was known as Sgt. Harper. But to many, he was simply Ralph, a high-spirited individual with an unmistakable sense of humor.

Harper was a regular at J.J. Twig’s restaurant on South Hampton.

“He would light the place up. Everybody loved seeing him walk in the door. He was just Ralph. It was, ‘Hey, Ralph. How are you doing?’ You had his beer ready,” owner Alex Graves said.

The condolences extend to the east coast. The New York Yankees organization sent flowers to Harper’s family.

“With our deepest sympathies, our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Harper family and the family of the Metropolitan Police Department of the city of St. Louis,” a note from the organization read.

The note was accompanied by a large bouquet of blue and white flowers.

The New York Yankees has a tradition of sending flowers to families of fallen officers.

The St. Louis Police Department tweeted: “Thank you to the Yankees for their support during this difficult time. Please keep the friends, family, and all officers in your thoughts and prayers.”