Hundreds turn out for slain officer's funeral
GONZALES - Hundreds of people lined Airline Highway in Gonzales Monday to pay their respects to 29-year-old Thomas LaValley, a Shreveport police officer killed recently in the line of duty who is being laid to rest in St. Amant.
LaValley was shot and killed last week while responding to a call about a suspicious person in a house in Shreveport. An intense manhunt led to the capture of the man suspected possible a day after the shooting.
"Thomas LaValley wasn't just liked, he was loved," Shreveport Sgt. Michael Carter said.
Carter was LaValley's supervisor and said he will always have fond memories of him.
"Whenever you lose an officer in the line of duty like this for no reason, unprovoked, unwarranted in any way or fashion, you can't fill this void."
The funeral drew people across the nation. Law enforcement from New York and Chicago also attended.
"We're standing here today in support and solidarity from the New York City Police Department," Officer Lauren Herbert said. "When an officer is killed in the line of duty, it's an attack on our society as a whole."
Family members said this is one of the hardest days they've ever encountered, but they know his legacy of putting others first will live on.
"Respect each other," Jeannie Averett, LaValley's aunt said. "Don't treat people with labels or hatred, look at them and know them ebfore you make judgements."
Over the weekend hundreds of supporters and police officers from throughout Louisiana lined the streets to welcome his body back home to Ascension Parish.
Family members say LaValley lived his life to the fullest. They say they plan to live their lives bravely and strongly, just like he would have done.
The funeral mass was scheduled for 11 a.m. followed by a burial at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in St. Amant.