CHARLOTTE, N.C. — From Charlotte to Mooresville, thousands gathered Friday to say their final goodbyes to police officer Jordan Sheldon, who was killed while serving the town he loved.
Sheldon’s funeral was held at Calvary Church in south Charlotte, one of the city's largest churches.
(VIDEO: Chopper 9)
Hundreds of K-9 officers and their dogs gathered before the funeral, where they stood around the casket as it was brought into the church.
Channel 9's Gina Esposito spoke with CMPD K-9 officer Darrell Brown, who said he didn't know Sheldon personally but said the K-9 community is supportive. He said he is honored to be a part of Friday's special remembrance.
"We just want to support him, his family, and everybody else, and let them know that we care," Brown said.
Channel 9 also spoke to Charlotte firefighter Bill Suthard, who described the pouring rain, which at the time, made the scene seem even more focused on why they were there.
"Although it was a downpour, when it happened it was a complete heavy downpour, no one moved," Suthard said. "They were all locked, soaking wet in dress uniforms, saluting him as he was brought in. It was beautiful."
We've seen so much love and support for the K-9 officer this week, and that love brought thousands to say goodbye Friday.
Sheldon was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Saturday night. The tragedy was felt by thousands of people in the Mooresville community -- and beyond.
Hundreds came out to honor the officer at a heartfelt vigil earlier this week, where his father thanked the community.
Sheldon’s dad spoke about how his son got into law enforcement, and why he wanted to serve his home town of Mooresville -- a place he loved and called home.
More people gathered to pay their respects during a 26-mile procession from Charlotte to a Concord funeral home. From Chopper 9 Skyzoom, Sheldon's K-9 partner, Ramon, could be seen as the officer’s casket was moved from the hearse to the building.
The two had lived together and formed a tight bond.
After Friday’s funeral, a procession escorted the fallen officer's body to the Mooresville Police Department.
Dozens of law enforcement agencies from across the Carolinas and beyond and as far away as Canada and Australia could be seen escorting Officer Sheldon's body from Charlotte back to the Mooresville Police Department.
Procession plan and roads affected:
- Leave Calvary Church at approximately 1:00 to 1:30
- Turn right onto Rea Road to Interstate 485 Inner Loop
- Merge onto Interstate 485 Inner Loop toward Pineville
- Travel Interstate 485 to Interstate 77 North
- Travel Interstate 77 North to Exit 33
- Turn right on US 21 North toward Mooresville
- Turn right onto Waterlynn Road toward NC 115
- Turn Left onto NC 115 toward Main Street, Mooresville
- Continue on Main Street toward Downtown
- Travel Main Street to West Iredell Avenue
- Turn Left onto West Iredell Avenue to Mooresville Police Department
From Chopper 9, we could see fire engines with flags raised on overpasses and law enforcement officers standing in salute.
Families, neighbors, and first responders were on nearly every turn from Charlotte to Mooresville to honor the sacrifice he made.
People lined the streets in Mooresville to pay their respects.
Sgt. Eric Speck said he and his National Guard unit took part in placing a large flag over downtown Mooresville.
"It's a somber moment for us just to pay our respects to a man who gave everything for this town," Speck said.
"I was in th service. People came out and supported me sometimes and I certainly want to come out and support these guys who serve and protect us," Covert said.
Mooresville resident John Wanzer despite the situation, the community came together to stand up for what was right -- to give back to Officer Sheldon for everything he did for the town.
"Every community has pulled together and we all said we've all said we're going to take a stand for what's right. And by him giving back to us, we're giving back to him," Wanzer said.
Channel 9's Mark Becker said hundreds of people in downtown Mooresville and at the police department stood in silence as the procession passed, for more than 20 minutes.
To accommodate the procession, some schools closed early.
Schools dismissing early:
- Coddle Creek Elementary will dismiss at 11 a.m.
- Mount Mourne School will dismiss at 11:30 a.m.
- Any Iredell-Statesville Schools district student who wants to leave early for the procession can do so and will be marked as an excused absence.
- All Mooresville Graded high and middle schools will dismiss at 11 a.m.
- All Mooresville Graded elementary schools will dismiss at noon.
Next week, Iredell County will honor Sheldon as part of its Law Enforcement Week, after county commissioners approved the move earlier this week.
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