RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — United Communities Against Crime held a prayer vigil Monday evening in honor of slain Virginia State Police Special Agent Mike Walter.
Trooper Walter, 45, was shot and killed during an operation in Richmond’s Mosby Court Friday evening.
Walter lived in Powhatan County with his wife, Jamie, and three children, ages 14, 9 and 6.
Police said Walter was known throughout Powhatan County for more than just his police work, but also his commitment to bettering the lives of local youth.
Along with his wife, he founded and ran a nonprofit organization called the Powhatan Youth Wrestling and Community Development Corporation. Through this and the Blackhawk Gym, he worked to mentor disadvantaged youth while fostering their talents through physical fitness and sportsmanship. As a way to honor their beloved Coach Mike, his wrestlers will be competing at the annual Rumble in the Rodeo in Powhatan next weekend.
The “Unity In Our Community Prayer Vigil” took place in the same location where Trooper Walter lost his life — in 1900 block of Reed Street in Mosby Court.
“It would mean a lot to Mike to know that his service in this community and ultimately his dying in this community wouldn’t go in vain,” said Major Len Terry with Virginia State Police.
Major Len Terry said Monday’s vigil was a testament to the man Special Agent Mike Walter was.
“The people coming together from all over shows how much of an impact he had on the lives of many people,” Major Terry said. “Even the people he did not know.”
Those in attendance heard from city council members and faith leaders who are pleading for an end to the violence in Mosby Court, known as one of Richmond’s most dangerous and violent neighborhoods.
“Mike’s name will be etched on a wall in our city in our capital,” said Richmond Police Deputy Chief Steve Drew. “Don’t let it ever be forgotten. Keep it etched on your hearts.”
An event that started in remembrance, turned into a call to action for the community.
“Together I do think we can make a change,” Deputy Chief Drew said.
Community leaders called on residents to support law enforcement.
“We want the policemen to keep doing what they are doing,” said Marilyn Olds with the community board. “We support you. We stand with you and those negatives, we as a community need to shut them down.”
Olds called the special agent a hero whose legacy should be carried on even by those who didn’t know him.
“Trooper Mike did the ultimate sacrifice,” Olds said. “He died so that these courts could regain their peace and harmony.”
Organizers said the event was all about having the community and law enforcement come together in a sign of unity.
The event was capped by releasing blue and black balloons into the hair in honor of Trooper Walter.