BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Going away services begin Friday morning for one of three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers gunned down in the line of duty.
There are already a number of police units in the Healing Place Church parking lot, as officers and loved ones prepare to say goodbye to 41-year-old Matthew Gerald.
Gerald was a father of two and had only been on the force for less than a year when he became one of the three police officers killed in a shooting in Baton Rouge last Sunday.
Gavin Long, 29, is the man authorities say set out to kill officers in a targeted act of violence.
Before becoming a member of the Baton Rouge Police Department, Gerald served in both the Army and Marines.
"I didn't know him personally. I'm here, I've read about him and what I hope is that they remember this man didn't waste a minute of his life," said Doug Nobles of the Louisiana Patriot Guard Riders. "He was in the United States Army, he was in the United States Marines, he was law enforcement here in Baton Rouge, just an honorable person that we were lucky to have."
Visitation services for Gerald are from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. at Healing Place Church on Highland Rd. Funeral services will follow.
Afterwards, there will be a procession from the church to the Louisiana National Cemetery on West Mount Pleasant Zachary Rd.
Even those who did not know Gerald personally are grieving his loss.
"I'm not good in situations like this. The fact that it happened so suddenly and unnecessarily, it's very hard," said Sean Beauvais, who worked with Gerald's father.
Family, friends and law enforcement from across the nation will come together again Saturday for deputy Brad Garafola's funeral.
Visitation is at noon at Istrouma Baptist Church. Funeral services are set for 2 p.m.
Monday morning marks the final funeral of the three officers.
Officer Montrell Jackson's visitation begins Monday at 9 a.m. at the Living Faith Christian Center. The funeral starts at 11 a.m.