Widow of slain Auburn police officer speaks after mortgage paid in full

Foundation pays off home of widow of slain Auburn police officer

LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - The widow of a fallen east Alabama police officer is breaking her silence months after his death, and days after learning the home she shared with him has been paid for in full through donations.

Auburn police officer William Buechner’s family learned this week that they don’t have to worry about making mortgage payments on their home anymore. They now own it outright.

Sara Buechner opened up to WSFA 12 News anchor Sally Pitts Wednesday, sharing memories of her husband.

Sara and Will made it their home for nearly three years. It was to be their forever home, but on May 19 everything changed. Officer Buechner, a veteran on the Auburn police force, was killed in the line duty.

“I had no desire to lose him this early," Sara said. "And it’s still hard to think about the forever plans that you had.”

Sara is is adjusting to her new normal, a life without her husband. But she won’t have to worry about losing their home home thanks to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

“The only thing I can say is ‘Thank you.’ I mean, there’s really not enough words," she admitted. "There’s not enough words for how grateful I am to not have to worry about moving out of our forever home.”

Sara takes comfort in knowing her husband died doing what he loved.

Officer William Buechner
Officer William Buechner (Source: Auburn Police Division)

“He was doing his job. And he was protecting others. And how can you not be grateful and proud of somebody who does that for not just you, but for every citizen in the city of Auburn?” she asked.

Sara remembers her husband’s response when a fellow officer was shot in the line of duty just months before his own life was taken.

“I remember very clearly, he actually had the flu that week. He’s got the radio on, said somebody has been shot. He literally threw on all his gear and took off out the door," Buechner’s widow recalled. "Not many people would get out of bed having the flu to do their job. But his brother was down. He knew that’s where he needed to be.”

When Will Buechner took off his uniform he was a devoted family man.

“He was amazing. He was the best husband a woman could ask for. He was an amazing stepfather, an amazing father to my son. I mean, everybody who came in contact with him just loved him,” Sara explained.

Not long after his death, neighbors looking for a way to honor Will’s sacrifice found a unique way to remember him. They turned their porch lights blue. It was supposed to last through the weekend of his death, but two months later and those lights still shine.

A photo shows multiple houses in fallen Auburn police officer William Buechner's neighborhood illuminated in blue.
A photo shows multiple houses in fallen Auburn police officer William Buechner's neighborhood illuminated in blue. (Source: Samantha Xaysombath Smith)

It’s a sign that this community has not forgotten his sacrifice, and they never will.

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