Thousands turned out in torrential downpours for a final farewell Friday to a Delaware state trooper who was shot and killed in the line of duty last week after he approached a vehicle considered suspicious.
State troopers from New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and even some from as far away as California traveled to pay respects to Corporal Stephen Ballard for his funeral, according to local media 6abc.com.
Some law enforcement also came from Ballard’s home state of Maryland and others even came from Canada.
The 32-year-old trooper’s wife, Louise, was stoic as she carried her five-year-old daughter into the funeral service.
The photo of the procession was tweeted out by a local reporter, and the crowds who turned out in record numbers, with the American flag in the backdrop, were visible.
Ballard was shot and killed in a Wawa parking lot by suspect Burgon Sealy Jr., who was killed after a 20-hour standoff with police.
Wawa has a launched a $50,000 fundraiser for the Ballard family, according to an online law enforcement site.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Cpl. Ballard and the entire Delaware State Police family,” Wawa said in a statement.
A Delaware hotel, where many New Jersey state troopers stayed to be a part of Friday’s detail, also left a heartfelt message for those staying with them.
“Thank you for staying with us here at the Doubletree by Hilton Concord Pike. While we are very happy to have you stay with us, we do wish it was under better circumstances,” the note read and was posted on Twitter by NJSP-State Trooper.
“If there is anything that we can do to make your stay with us an enjoyable one while you are here to pay respects to Corporal Ballard, please do not hesitate to let us now. You protect and serve your communities every day, and as such it is our honor and privilege to serve you during this time,” The Doubletree wrote.