BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - The Suncoast is saying goodbye to a hero.
Thursday morning, thousands gathered to pay their respects to Trooper Joseph Bullock, lining the route from the Robert Toale and Sons Funeral home to Bayside Community Church in Bradenton.
“When it’s close to home it hurts a little bit extra and this one was really a sincere gut punch to me,” said Sgt. Dylan Bryan with the Florida Highway Patrol Troop G.
The service began at 11 a.m. and you can watch the complete service at the church below:
Trooper Bullock was killed last week Wednesday near Palm City, which is around 45 minute north of West Palm Beach. The 42-year-old had stopped to help a stranded motorist, 30-year-old Franklin Reed III, when Reed pulled out a gun, shooting and killing him. A passing Riviera Beach police officer then shot Reed, killing him.
For trooper Joesph Bullock law enforcement was a lifetime dream.
“He always wanted to be a cop like his father,” said FHP Colonel Gene Spaulding.
Although the Air Force veteran worked his nearly two decade career on the other coast of Florida, Trooper Bullock’s family is from Englewood and he will be laid to rest at the Sarasota National Cemetery.
The second procession from the church to the cemetery involved multiple agencies and began around 1:15 p.m.
A Law Enforcement Honors service was scheduled to begin at 2:30pm at Patriot Plaza, but due to the length of the procession was delayed by around an hour. The honors ceremony consisted of the honor guard flag presentation, last call, a 21-gun salute, and a flyover.
You can watch the full video below (the video begins without sound for several minutes as people arrive to the cemetery) which includes interviews with those who knew Trooper Bullock at the end:
Many shared fond memories of Trooper Bullock.
“He will live forever no matter what he is a legend,” said Trooper Mellow Scheetz with FHP Troop L.
They all said Joe was an exemplary trooper.
“Whenever you went to a call, Joe went to the call with you. Joe didn’t let you go by himself,” said Lt. Derrick Rahming, Sr.
A respected Trooper and someone who will never be forgotten.