Local motorcycle club to hold 3rd annual memorial ride for fallen Auburn police officer

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 5:18 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - On May 19, 2019, four years ago today, police officer William Buechner of Auburn was shot and killed when responding to a domestic disturbance call.

Grady Wilkes was later arrested and charged with capital murder.

This weekend will mark the third year the Gunnar’s Motorcycle Club will ride in memory of Buechner.

News Leader 9 spoke with the president of Gunnar’s Motorcycle Club to learn more about this weekend’s event.

The memorial ride will be a 46-mile ride ending at his resting place in remembrance of the officer.

He was not only an officer but a husband, father, and hero to the community.

May 19 marks the anniversary of Auburn police officer William Buechner who sacrificed his life to protect the community.

Buechner and two other officers responded to a domestic disturbance call when a gunman shot all three, wounding two and killing Buechner.

Buechner served in the Auburn Police Department for 13 years. President of Gunnar’s Motorcycle Club Ruben Garza says Buechner was known for his contagious smile and being an approachable person.

“Will was the jokester, the one that sent little text messages, and usually, he worked night shift when he sent them. As everybody else is sleeping he’s sending a joke, but we never got mad at him because usually, it was typically funny.”

Saturday, May 21, will be the third annual William Buechner Memorial Ride at 11 a.m. EST, starting at Rally Point Harley-Davidson in Columbus to the final resting place of Officer William Buechner.

Dewayne Garner with the Gunnar’s Motorcycle Club says the ride means a lot to friends and family of Buechner because it shows the support within the community.

“Were including cars this time, anything street legal can join in on the ride and ride with us to remember Will and go by and pay respects to him at his final resting place.”

Garza says the ride is completely free, but people can purchase items to help give back to support the Buechner family, including the two children. Henry and Mckenna. It will be a kid-friendly event with bounce houses and a mechanical bull.

“The way we always remember him is through this memorial ride. That one hour were coming back from Columbus, and all those bikes are behind us. It’s our way of remembering him.”

Garza and Garner want to remind drivers to be patient during this memorial ride in honor of Officer Buechner.

If you are coming out, Saturday Garza says you can purchase a shirt to wear during the ride or wear blue.

If you want more information on ways you can help the family, click here.

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