RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) - Since Thursday, close friends and colleagues have come forward to honor the legacy of Virginia State Police trooper Junius Walker. But his death has plucked at the heart strings of those who did not even know him.
The owners of Big's BBQ in Chesterfield have been collecting money to give to trooper Walker's family since Friday morning. Neither Rob Weaver or Brian Daigneault, the restaurant's founders, have ever met anyone even related to trooper Walker.
One of those owners, Rob Weaver, worked as a patrol officer for the Richmond Police Department prior to opening Big's BBQ.
"There is no mundane task that a police officer can do that doesn't at some point have the potential to involve danger," said Weaver.
Even though Weaver was only a baby when trooper Walker began his career, Weaver said he feels a connection with the slain trooper. Weaver knows the dangers of he job, and said a deep connection, almost family-like, exists between all emergency responders.
"Next time you see a police officer driving down the road, doing a traffic stop, and you why he's doing the things he's doing, then this is something to keep in the back of your mind," said Weaver.
His restaurant has been collecting cash on site and will donate a portion of this weekend's profit to Walker's family.
Weaver said the response already by law enforcement and average citizens has been tremendous. More than 13,000 people viewed his restaurant's post on Facebook about the donations in under 24 hours.
"I'd just be happy to drop this thing [the final check] down their chimney, and for them to never know where it came from. I don't need any business from it," Weaver said. "Any police officer, any firefighter, any EMS person would say the exact same thing."
The restaurant may continue the donation period past this weekend if the response is large enough.