Thousands gathered Tuesday to remember the life and legacy of Richardson Police Officer David Sherrard, who was killed in the line of duty last week.
Sherrard, 37, received full honors at his funeral service in Dallas, and a large motorcade escorted the fallen officer to his burial site in Rowlett.
Rowlett Fire Department ladder trucks flanked the street at Rowlett and Kyle in front of the cemetery entrance, as dozens of people who had waited for hours in cold drizzle stood and watched the procession pass.
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"It was the least I could do," said former police officer Haley Adams, who took her 5-year-old daughter to see the procession. "This officer had kids. Definitely gets me right in the heart. Too many."
"He has people who loved him. He didn't deserve to die like that," said Tory McGree, who took his 7-year-old twins out of school early to watch the procession. "What is the world coming to? It's making it harder for the next generation."
The services inside the Watermark Community Church of Dallas were private. A live stream of the service, shared online by the church, showed a packed auditorium of people there to pay their respects.
Speaking at the service, Sherrard's widow, Nicole Sherrard, said she wanted people to know more about their love story. The high school sweethearts married young and recently celebrated their 15-year anniversary.
Nicole Sherrard shared a deeply personal account of the ups and downs, saying there was a time they grew apart by putting their kids and jobs first. She said the last couple of years were the happiest, as the couple committed to putting God and their marriage ahead of everything else.
"If you've heard nothing else today, know that it doesn't matter where your marriage is at, it doesn't matter what has happened in your marriage, God can fix it," Nicole Sherrard said. "Nothing is too big for God. You just have to have faith and put in the work."
"Let our marriage be your example. Learn from us how short life actually can be," she added. "We thought we had forever."
Friends and colleagues who spoke at the service each recounted Officer Sherrard's devotion to his wife and their two young daughters.
Fellow Richardson Police Officer Shaun Morgan shared that Sherrard's faith spilled over into their friendship. He said Sherrard would often tell him to give his problems to God. Fighting tears, Morgan said he needed to hear his friend say that right about now.
Richardson Police Chief Jimmy Spivey said Officer Sherrard was a true hero.
"David knew what was coming. He knew it was his time to lead," Spivey said. "He knew people depended on him, and he rose to that occasion."
Spivey said Sherrard was the lead officer in a group to go into an apartment and confront a gunman last Wednesday night. The gunman shot and killed Officer Sherrard and another man, 30-year-old Rene Gamez.
Spivey said if given the choice, Sherrard would make the same sacrifice.
"If we could roll the clock back to do it all over again, David Sherrard would be number one in that stack and the first one to go into that apartment," the chief said.
Spivey also recounted how Sherrard's widow met with the first responders who were with her husband the night he was killed. The group met the day before the funeral.
"It was from your heart that you knew everybody had done everything they could do and that David was in a good place," Spivey said. "You've been the rock for all of us."
Officer Sherrard was a 13-year veteran of the Richardson Police Department. His line-of-duty death marks the first in the department's 63 year history.
Visitation was held at First Baptist Church of Richardson Monday evening.
"It's an honor actually to be able to host this for the Sherrard family," said the Rev. Ellis Orozco, pastor of First Baptist Church of Richardson.
Orozco said Sherrard had a great faith that was seen in his service.
"Jesus said, 'No greater love hath a man than to give his life for his friends,' and Officer Sherrard did that," Orozco said. "He gave his life protecting this community. Just the ability to honor that – to recognize that – to in some way memorialize that is a powerful thing for a community as we move forward."
"There is a tremendous brotherhood and sisterhood within the Richardson Police Department," Orozco added. "They are really there for us, but they are also there for each other."
NBC 5's Noelle Walker contributed to this report.