KELSO, WA (KPTV) – Hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects to fallen Cowlitz County Deputy Justin DeRosier as a motorcade escorted him from the medical examiner’s office in Vancouver to the funeral home in Kelso.
“It’s emotional, no doubt,” said David Pennington, who’s with the American Legion Riders and Patriot Guard Riders.
Law enforcement officers from several agencies escorted the hearse up Interstate 5. Other first responders and community members gathered on overpasses to pay their respects to Deputy DeRosier.
“Just having the support of the community has been amazing the last few days and that’s just part of who we are, that’s part of our town, and that’s what we do,” said Mark Smith with Cowlitz Fire District 5.
Then in Kelso, yet another crowd gathered at the Dahl McVicker Funeral Home as the hearse pulled up.
“I cried like a baby on the side of the freeway. Me and my husband stood there as it went by and I cried,” said Kayla Jacobson, who lives in Longview.
Jacobson tells FOX 12 she didn’t know Deputy DeRosier personally but she feels as if she did.
“I felt in my heart he was one of my own, one of my family, you know, he’s a law enforcement officer that gave his life to help others,” she said.
She and so many others are saying this is a huge loss for his family, the sheriff’s office and the entire community.
“He was a young man with a young family, so with that in mind, it makes it difficult,” Pennington said.
Now, they're just doing whatever they can to show their support in such a tough time.
“We need to show them that we all stand as one and when one has fallen, we’re going be here to support them no matter what that is and no matter what we need to do to do that,” Jacobson said.
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