WATCH: Joint funeral honors fallen Bay St. Louis officers Sgt. Steven Robin, Officer Branden Estorffe
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) - The two officers shot and killed outside a Bay St. Louis motel December 14 were laid to rest Wednesday afternoon.
Services for Sgt. Steven Robin and Officer Branden Estorffe were held at the Bay St. Louis Community Center, beginning with visitation at 9:30 a.m. Countless members of multiple communities gathered to pay their respects to the two men who lost their lives in the line of duty. Law enforcement agencies from across South Mississippi as well as members of the law enforcement community traveling from Alabama, Arkansas and the northeast were present to pay their respects.
Services began just after noon, with prayer led by Father Jacob Matthew of St. Clare Catholic Church, who served two decades in the Marine Corps before he became a man of the cloth.
“In all of that 20 years, I had the same question many of you have asked... ‘Why, God? Why them? Why now? Why couldn’t you have left them to be among us to grow old and see their children and grandchildren?’” he said.
However, Father Jacob Matthew was able to find the silver lining of these tragic events.
“We are all here to do something special in our lives, regardless of what trade or vocation we have now, but we’re all called to do something special in our lives, and after listening to stories of Steven and Branden, I think they lived that out,” he said.
Next to speak was Gov. Tate Reeves.
Today, we come together to mourn the loss of two Mississippi heroes while also celebrating the enduring legacy they leave behind,” he said. “We reflect on their many contributions to our state while also remembering their selfless sacrifice on behalf of others. Today, we pay tribute to two brave law enforcement officers whose watch has ended and who were taken from us way too soon, but also today, we stand alongside the families and we stand alongside our law enforcement community to help uplift them during this difficulty.
“But today we aren’t just honoring two brave law enforcement officers; we’re also honoring two unbelievably good men: Sgt. Steven Michael Robin and Officer Branden Paul Estorffe.
“They were indeed peacemakers, and our state and this community will forevermore be better off because of them. I speak for all three million Mississippians when I come to you today and say thank you to Sgt. Robin and Officer Estorffe and to our entire law enforcement community.
“To the families of Sgt. Robin and Officer Estorffe, from the bottom of my heart, I say thank you. Thank you for raising two heroes, and thank you for generously sharing them with all of us. Their service to our state will forever be enshrined in history, and your families will always be in our thoughts and in our prayers.”
Moving to the eulogies, Bay St. Louis Police Chief Toby Schwartz spoke first on the life of Sgt. Steven Robin, who served as a member of the law enforcement community in Hancock County for the past decade, first in the sheriff’s department before moving to Waveland Police Department and eventually Bay St. Louis Police Department.
Schwartz spoke to the type of supervisor Robin was, always wanting to learn from those around him, including the patrolmen he supervised.
“He believed if he asked you to do something, he would also do it himself along with you,” Schwartz said. “He kept his oath of helping others and protecting the community... He gave his life for what he believed in. Because of his ultimate sacrifice, Steven Robin can finally lay down his weapon and shield to rest in heaven.
“Steven Robin will be finely missed and forever remembered as a hero.”
State Rep. Brent Anderson next delivered the eulogy for Officer Branden Estorffe. Anderson is Estorffe’s uncle and watched him grow up.
“Branden’s life was filled with police officers, many of whom are sitting there today,” Anderson said. “They watched this kid grow into the man he became.”
Anderson spoke to how Estorffe had a passion for law enforcement from an early age.
“He was going to be just like his dad. The minute he was old enough he started working on those skills to become the perfect police officer,” he said.
Anderson also spoke to the close relationship Branden and his father Ian shared.
“One thing about Branden, he called his dad every day; they would talk cop shop,” Anderson said. “His biggest thing was to tell his dad he loved him. He never missed that opportunity to tell his dad those words... Branden dreamed of being like his dad and following Ian’s path in the narcotics world.”
While still relatively young, Anderson said Estorffe did not let his age hold him back.”
“Branden showed courage and maturity beyond his 23 years,” Anderson said. “He did what he was raised to do; he did what he was trained to do.”
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