Hundreds came to pay final respects to fallen Master Trooper Junius Walker, some from as far as the Midwest.
The state flag was hung.
“Let the family know the community is with them,” said one man standing in line. Then, a simple salute. "It's respect for first responders that protect the laws we put on the books," he added.
The day to bury a fallen brother quickly approaches.
“This is a testament to the kind of guy he was,” said Virginia State Police Sgt. Michael McCann. “Even if he dealt with someone in a negative situation, such as an arrest, J.A. was always a good-spirited guy. I’m glad to see this kind of showing."
Citizens, law enforcement and troopers from all over the Commonwealth and as far away as Missouri came to pay their respects. It was a time for Missouri State Police Captains Londell Jamerson and Brad Jones to reflect on their careers protecting the highways.
“Especially for the length of service we have,” said Jones. “It hits close to home because we are coming to a close on our career and Trooper Walker was, too."
Thirty-five years of service on Virginias byways and highways, mostly spent on interstate 85 where a gunman took Walker’s life last Thursday. Walker also served in the military where he was described as a dedicated and selfless, gentle giant.
Not only does he leave behind a family but a community wishing things didn't end so tragically. “It's my belief that he sits with god above,” said McCann. “But as far as J.A. and what you associate as the golden years, it was taken from him. It was taken from us and his family. It's disgusting, in my opinion."
Master Trooper Walker will be laid to rest Tuesday at 11 a.m. and huge crowds are expected; more than a thousand are expected to attend. People are encouraged to arrive early, and drivers are urged to avoid the area if they aren't attending the funeral.