Friends and family are sharing their memories of Trooper David Cunniff, the trooper killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop Monday night in Amsterdam. Maria Valvanis was in Latham at Grace Fellowship Church, where Cunniff played a vital role in the church's community.
LATHAM, N.Y. -- Jeffrey Stasko said, "Dave had this zest for life like you wouldn't believe. The first time I met him was at a church Christmas party and he was just tearing it up on the dance and I was like, 'who is this guy?'"
Mike North said, "Dave has that infectious personality that makes you smile no matter how bad day your day was. He just comes into rehearsal and lightens everyone's mood up."
Whether he was serving as a State Trooper or playing the electric guitar for the Grace Fellowship Worship band, David Cunniff dedicated his life to helping others.
"We're grieving, we are a family and we are grieving a huge loss," said North.
Trooper Cunniff had been coming to the Grace Fellowship in Latham for nearly 15 years. On Tuesday, the worship band rehearsed for the first time without him.
"When he played in the band he'd be with these guys sometimes 12, 13 hours in the week, in his free time, serving in that time," said Stasko.
Trooper Cunniff's church family says they'll keep his spirit alive which each tune they play, while supporting the wife and two young sons he left behind, the older of which is battling a rare spinal condition restricting him to a wheelchair.
North said, "It's a tough time, but because we know he is at home finally, we are at peace."
Stasko said, "He's going to be missed by the people who saw him on the stage. He's going to be missed by the teachers who taught his kids in Sunday school. He's going to be missed by his family and friends. He's going to be missed by everybody."