- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

OREM, Utah (AP) - Thousands gathered around a flag-draped casket Wednesday for the funeral of a Utah deputy killed in a recent crime spree.

Friends, family and fellow officers remembered the 44-year-old Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride as a quiet, dedicated father of five in a service that included remarks from Gov. Gary Herbert.

“We lost a hero,” said Blake Wride, the deputy’s father, remembering his son as a private man dedicated foremost to family, his Mormon faith, and to serving his community.

Wride was killed Jan. 30 on a rural highway about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City. He had stopped to check on a truck with its emergency lights on when he was shot twice while seated in his patrol car.

Authorities believe he was shot by Jose Angel Garcia-Juaregui, who later wounded another deputy, rammed into cars and pulled off a carjacking. Garcia-Juaregui, 27, died after being shot in a gunfight with police that ended a 2 1/2-hour pursuit.

An arrest warrant had been issued for Garcia-Juaregui the previous day, alleging violations of his parole conditions. Prosecutors are still deciding whether to charge a 17-year-old girl who was with Garcia-Juaregui during the crime spree.

American flags surrounded the Utah Valley University campus in Orem Wednesday for Wride’s service. Police from Utah and around the country came to honor him.

Wride’s siblings recalled him as an avid outdoorsman who loved camping, riding horses and hunting pheasants, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Wride was quick to downplay his own merits and would’ve said the gathering was too much, Wride’s father said.

Before the funeral, Wride’s brother-in-law, Johnny Reville, said the family was grateful for overwhelming support from other law enforcement officials.

“This brotherhood of officers is something that I envy,” he said.

Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy told the Tribune the immense support would help bring closure to Wride’s fellow officers.

“I am a better person for having known him,” Tracy added.

When Wride left Utah years ago to serve as a Mormon missionary in New York City, his sister Anne Curtis wondered how the shy boy would fare in such a big city, the Daily Herald reports.

A few weeks after his arrival in New York, Curtis said, Wride sent his cowboy boots home, noting there were a few key differences in the way people dressed there.

Other officers at the service said Wride was a peaceful man who treated people fairly in his work.

After the service, Wride was laid to rest in the Spanish Fork Cemetery.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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