- Face-Chewing Victim Recovering in Miami
- Newly Released Photos of Tucson Shooting Scene Show Investigative Tactics
- Search for Survivors in Oklahoma Nearly Complete
- Police Chief: No Charges Likely in Virginia Parade Crash
- Suspect in Abduction of 2 Girls Found Dead in Iowa
- Training for Active Shooter Response
- Utah Police Close 2009 Cold Case
VIRGINIA BEACH -- They came from across the state and along the Eastern seaboard, each with black bands across their badges, to remember a fallen colleague hailed Tuesday as a hero and devoted family man.
More than 1,000 uniformed police officers stood outside the entrance to the sprawling Rock Church, where they saluted the family of Virginia Beach police Detective Michael Smith Phillips, who was killed late Thursday night during an undercover drug operation.
Bagpipers played and flags waved gently as Phillips' wife, Terri, and young sons, Bailey and Bristol, were escorted from a limousine into the church. Inside, an American flag draped the detective's casket.
During the service, the Rev. James Ullian eulogized Phillips as a man always willing to help a friend - but only after he'd made sure his family was taken care of first.
Phillips had always wanted a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, despite his wife's objections. Eventually, she "caved," Ullian said.
Phillips went to a dealership and sat on the bike he wanted. Then he slid off.
"He didn't buy it," Ullian said. "He said it would be selfish, because it wasn't something his family could enjoy with him."
Police Chief Jake Jacocks told mourners that Phillips "was, without question, a hero."
"Mike loved his job," the chief said. "He knew the dangers, and he knew what he was doing was important."
He praised Phillips' dedication to his job removing drugs from the community. Phillips was undercover late Thursday trying to buy a half-pound of marijuana when a man walked up to his pickup truck and shot him three times. Two suspects, Ted Vincent Carter, 23, and Marshall Demetrius Moyd, 26, both of Virginia Beach, are charged in his death.
Jacocks noted that the days since Phillips' death had felt like months, and that many officers had struggled with anger, depression and "misguided attempts of self-blame."
Phillips, he said, would be disappointed if those feelings overwhelmed those he left behind.
Along the three-mile route between Rock Church and Rosewood Memorial Park, dozens of people stood along the curb of Kempsville and Witchduck roads as the procession passed. Some waved American flags. Others stood solemnly or saluted.
As vehicles pulled into the cemetery, others were still just leaving the church.
In the cemetery's Garden of Valor, members of the Virginia Beach Police Department's Honor Guard fired a three-shot volley. Afterward, a bugler played Taps, followed by an officer leading a riderless black horse with boots facing backward in the stirrups past Phillips' casket.
At the end of the service, a dispatcher cracked over police radios: "Dispatcher to Officer Code 2079."
A few seconds later, she repeated her call, paused and said it a third time.
"Officer Code 2079," she said again, adding, "off-duty."