San Francisco honors officer killed 25 years ago

It's been 25 years since San Francisco police officer James Guelff was killed in the line of duty by a carjacking suspect. 

But on this date, Nov. 13 every year, the San Francisco Police Department honors his memory and his service with a ceremony.  

It's held along Pine Street at Franklin at the location where the 10-year-veteran was fatally shot.    

On Wednesday night, dozens of officers saluted him as the bagpipe was being played. 

"Jim Guelff gave everything to this city and that's why the tribute is being paid here today," said Police Capt. Joe Engler as he addressed those attending the somber ceremony.

On that fateful night in 1994, a carjacking suspect who was heavily armed and wore a body armor, shot and killed the officer. 
The gunman unleashed 25 minutes of terror, firing at passers-by and police. 

Two shots struck then Officer John Payne. 

One shot struck him in the hand; the other in the chest. 

"It was different after that. It was different after that," said Payne. 

Different because he lost a brother in blue and he lost the spark he once had.

"I was grateful I was still alive,” Payne said. “But I didn't have the go get them energy I had before." 

The suspect died in the gun battle with police. 

Guelff's family says the pain of his loss lingers. But there is pride in his legacy. 

His brother, Lee Guelff, showed KTVU  the officer's business card which he carries with him.
On the back side of the card, there's a photo of the body armor worn by the gunman. 

Lee Guelff says it's a reminder of the federal ban on felons possessing body armor that he worked to get passed; an act named after his brother. Guelff said a spot on Pine Street, marked with a memorial plaque, will forever be sacred ground.  

"This is the place where my brother walked his last few steps , spoke his last few words and did the best he could," said Guelff.  

"This is an incident you carry with you the rest of your life forever," said Assistant Chief Michael Redmond.  

Guelff's family said he loved being a police officer, that it was his calling.