‘My very best friend’: Funeral held for fallen CMPD Officer Joshua Eyer

CHARLOTTE — Members of police agencies from across North Carolina gathered in Charlotte on Friday to join friends and family in honoring the life of Officer Joshua Eyer.

Watch a replay of the procession and funeral service below:

Procession and Funeral for CMPD Officer Joshua Eyer

CMPD Officer Joshua Eyer lost his life in an attack on a police task force earlier this week. His family, friends, and colleagues are honoring him during his memorial service and funeral on Friday.

Posted by WSOC-TV on Friday, May 3, 2024

Eyer joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 2017. He was killed on Monday after a suspect opened fire on a task force that was attempting to serve an arrest warrant, according to CMPD.

Eyer is survived by his wife and 3-year-old son, Andrew.

On Friday, Charlotte came to a standstill for a brief period of time to honor Eyer. A sea of blue escorted the fallen hero to his final resting place at Sharon Memorial Park off Monroe Road.

Before the private gravesite memorial, there was a funeral service in Uptown Charlotte at First Baptist Church.

Time stood still as Eyer’s flag-draped casket entered first the church. Directly behind him walked the loved ones who would do anything for more time with him.

During the service, Channel 9′s Hunter Sáenz saw people wipe tears, laugh, and all pay their respects to Officer Eyer. They shared touching stories about him; some made everyone laugh, others brought even strangers to tears.

“He was so, so good to me. I never have and I never will question how much he loved me,” said Eyer’s wife, Ashley.

“For 10 years, Josh and I built a beautiful life,” she said. “It’s cliche, but I know the reason our love is so special is because he is and always will be my very best friend.”

She worked through her tears to honor a husband, a hero, but above all -- a dad.

“Being a father was undoubtably his most cherished role,” she said.

At times, Eyer’s 3-year-old son Andrew was seen innocently playing below where his father rested, not yet aware of the broken hearts of so many around him. Ashley passionately pleaded with everyone not to forget her husband’s ultimate legacy.

“If you really want to honor him, please help me by maintaining his legacy through Andrew,” she said. “Help me teach him about who his daddy was and what he meant to each of you.”

Officer Eyer was remembered by his colleagues for his service, both abroad during tours in the North Carolina Army National Guard and at home on the streets of Charlotte.

CMPD Officer Nicholas Ferreira entered the police academy with Eyer.

“Homicide suspect, he would get you. Stole a sandwich from [QuikTrip], Eyer is getting you too. No one was safe,” he said.

Ferreira and Eyer worked at the same division: The North Tryon Division.

“Although we came into this profession together, I’ve always looked up to Eyer,” Ferreira said, adding, “Josh was everything I ever hoped to be.”

The fallen officer’s grieving parents, mother-in-law and widow listened as CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings spoke directly to him.

“Officer Eyer, you represent everything great about this badge I wear over my heart and this patch I wear on my sleeve,” Jennings said.

The sound of bagpipes surrounded the final farewell of a family and community who deeply loved a man who gave everything.

“I love you so much, sunshine,” Ashley said. “I’ll see you soon.”

“I will carry his love with me for the rest of my life,” Ashley said.

‘Very personal’

Before Eyer’s burial, a procession took place from Uptown’s law enforcement center to First Baptist Church for Eyer’s memorial service.

The sound of bagpipes rang through Uptown Charlotte, and it was the only thing you could hear for well over 30 minutes as thousands of officers and citizens paid their respects to Eyer Friday morning.

There were more than a dozen law enforcement agencies from across the country in attendance, but the procession also brought out people like Marianne Wiggins, whose son served with Eyer.

“Very personal. I know [our son, Kevin] was in that division, and I know as soon as he heard the call, he would have been one of the first ones there as well,” Wiggins told Channel 9′s Eli Brand on Friday.

Brian Steeley was in Uptown on Friday, and he said his son also worked with Eyer.

“It was hard, it was very hard. My son happened to be off that day [of the attack]; he very likely would have been called to the scene if he was working that day,” Steeley said. “Golly, there are several people he knows that were there. It could have been him.”

Steeley carried a thin blue line flag that he has owned since his son joined the force. He said it kept the day in perspective.

“I felt it was something to hold. It made me feel a little bit closer to the people who give their lives for ours,” Steeley said.

Three other officers in the U.S. Marshals task force were killed in the attack, and four more were hurt, according to officials this week. Chief Jennings said the suspect was killed during a shootout with officers.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the families of the officers who were shot. You can donate by clicking this link.

(WATCH: The families of fallen officers ‘will not pay another mortgage payment again’)

Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz, wsoctv.com

Hunter is a reporter for Channel 9.

Eli Brand

Eli Brand, wsoctv.com

Eli is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

Comments on this article