HAMPTON, Va. (WRIC/AP) — Hundreds of police officers, friends, family and mourners gathered Tuesday to remember a Virginia state trooper who was killed by a gunman at a Richmond Greyhound bus station.
A funeral for Trooper Chad P. Dermyer was held Tuesday morning at Liberty Baptist Church in Hampton. After the service, a private burial took place in Gloucester County.
Virginia State Police said 3,500 people attended the funeral. About 20 state police agencies from across the country were represented at the funeral.
Trooper Chad P. Dermyer’s funeral
Trooper Chad P. Dermyer’s funeral x
VSP Superintendent Colonel W. Steven Flaherty was first to speak about Trooper Dermyer.
“Incredible personality,” Col. Flaherty said about Dermyer. “People were drawn to him because of his personality.”
Flaherty said Dermyer proved every day that he was a professional — on duty or off duty. What really defined Dermyer, though, was his family, Flaherty said.
“We don’t say Chad was a VSP Trooper, he is a VSP Trooper,” Flaherty said.
After Colonel Flaherty spoke, friend and former shift partner Cyndi Grace delivered a eulogy. She said that Trooper Dermyer “truly wanted to make a difference in the lives of the people he came in contact with.” With tears in her eyes, Grace spoke directly to his children and told them how proud their father was of them.
8News reporter Jonathan Costen spoke to friends of Dermyer, who said he would be remembered for his smile.
An academy classmate told 8News that Trooper Dermyer was like Superman minus the red cape and blue tights.
8News also spoke with fellow officers from Texas, New Mexico and California who traveled across the country to pay their respects for an officer most of them didn’t know.
“The reason why is to honor the sacrifice,” Trooper Gabe Cornish with Minnesota State Police told 8News Reporter Mark Tenia. “Some people wonder why a big deal is made out of law enforcement funerals, but if we’re not going to honor that sacrifice then who is?
At a visitation on Monday, friends, family and fellow officers paid their final respects to Trooper Dermyer.
Authorities say Dermyer was fatally shot by James Brown III at the busy bus terminal, where police were holding a counterterrorism training exercise. Brown, of Aurora, Illinois, was killed by two other state troopers after he opened fire. Police haven’t said what they believe motivated the shooting.
Dermyer is survived by his wife and two children. He was a former Marine who previously served on police forces in Jackson, Michigan, and Newport News, Virginia.
Click here for complete coverage of the deadly shooting at the Greyhound bus station in Richmond.