DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- The loss of Master Trooper Junius Walker is taking its toll on those who knew him and the thin blue line in Central Virginia.
While still trying to digest the death of the beloved and dedicated trooper, they want to be sure to honor his memory.
A fixture will be missing outside Virginia Motor Sports Park in Dinwiddie. The late Master State Trooper Junius Walker would patrol the sprawling complex directing traffic and upholding the law during races. [RELATED: Post condolences for Trooper Walker on the CBS 6 Facebook page]
Owner Brian Pierce said Walker's massive absence will be glaring.
“He cared about this county he cared about this area and he cared about this racetrack. He was a big man with a big personality and he stood out from the crowd,” Pierce said. “My whole staff was like stunned... really stunned.”
Trooper Walker was gunned down in his cruiser on I-85 in Dinwiddie Thursday afternoon. Those who knew the 63-year-old veteran trooper said Walker was tough, but fair and treated everyone with respect.
Former Petersburg Magistrate Mike Wessel worked closely with the married father of two.
"He was the life of the party,” Wessel said. “Any cop anywhere will tell you we lost a good one yesterday... One of the best.”
Deputies in Dinwiddie County where Walker lived and died are wearing black across their badges as a grim reminder that a member of the family has fallen.
Sheriff D.L. “Duck” Adams said he has never seen the community so shaken before.
“It is just hard to believe he is gone,” Major William Knott said. “It hurts. There is nothing fun about being at work today. It's what we have to do."
Retired trooper Jim Onley is trying to wrap his arms around the fact his dear friend is gone.
"It is a kick in the gut,” he said. "It is a solemn feeling among the state police family. We've lost a good friend."
The candlelight vigil scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. has been canceled. A new date has not yet been set.
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