BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Thousands of people and hundreds of officers from across the country, turned out to pay their respects, to fallen East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Deputy Brad Garafola.
The service, held at Istrouma Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, honored Garafola's life and service to his community. Hundreds of supporters lined Airline highway as the procession past the site where Garafola was killed during Sunday's attack on police officers.
"How do you adequately honor a man who gave the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our community, how do you adequately celebrate a man who lived his life for others," Casey Rayborn Hicks, the communications director for EBRSO, said during the service.
Garafola was working a detail at the B-Quik gas station on Airline Highway when Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said his true character showed through the evil.
"Brad Garafola ran toward danger, toward the wolf. He did so to save his fallen brother, he did so to protect you and me, he did what we are all called to do.
He exemplified Christ when he laid down his life for his brother, for his community and for all of us, he died a hero," said Sheriff Gautreaux.
During the service, Garafola's brother-in-law, Jaye Cooper, spoke on behalf of his family, offering humorous anecdotes and memories.
"Brad never looked for anything in return for what he did for anyone else, he did it because he was raised by two wonderful parents, Ms. Emily and Mr. Johnny, who raised him the right way, always help those who are in need no matter what. Brad lived by those standards daily, as he would give anyone anything he had, if they needed it, even if it meant going without it himself," said Cooper.
Garafola leaves behind a wife and four children, who are still coping with the loss of their father.
"My sister and Brad's children have all slept in the same bed together since last Sunday, just so they could all feel the presence of their father, just so they could smell the presence of their father. The other night, his daughter Samantha was crying in bed, when asked why she was crying she said she was crying happy tears because she knew her daddy was in a better place, she also stated that she wished her daddy's soul and life would return to his body, just so he could come back home," said Cooper.
Sheriff Sid Gautreaux stopped behind Garafola's hearse during the procession, dropping to a knee to give his final prayer.
"Well done, good and faithful servant, well done, rest in peace my brother, we will take it from here," said Gautreaux.