By Shawn Chitnis

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– People lined up on either side of a procession for fallen Douglas County Deputy Zack Parrish on Friday, to pay their respects to a man many never met.

“I cried more the day it happened, I’m just glad to be here today,” said Maggie Thomas. “This was just a tragedy that was so not necessary.”

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Sarah Bond does know some family members related to Parrish and said while watching the procession, faith mattered to him and his loved ones.

“It is a very, very tough day for the family, but they know where he is, he believed in Jesus Christ, and I believe that the Lord will use this to bring others to know him,” she said.

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Some that stood by and saw each agency and its officers pass through, knew of the struggles that the Parrish family was going through. They may not have known the deputy but they do know someone they care for who is also serving their community.

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“My stepmother was on the SWAT team and my father is a retired sergeant and it’s important to show my respect and thoughts for the family,” said Carrie Cohen.

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“We have family in the law enforcement business, and we just wanted to show our support to all the community,” another woman said.

“It’s just a reminder of how much they all do out there for us and how much we need to respect everybody and it’s just important to show your support to the families that do have to go through horrible time.”

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Joe Stanley lives close to the path of the procession so he decided to be there when it came by his neighborhood.

“I just want to support my community and fallen officer, they’re here giving their lives every day out in the community to protect and to serve, and when one of them is lost, it’s tragic.”

Cohen says even with her parents serving in law enforcement, she still must appreciate the responsibility that comes with wearing a sheriff’s deputy uniform.

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“This is a dangerous job,” she said. “You got to admire the people, the men and women, that do this for us and put their life on the line and it’s just a shame that this had to happened.”

Others spoke to the lessons that can come from his death and the impact his life will have on the community.

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“I wanted to come out and support the officer, the peace, try to promote peace, do whatever we can to alleviate this from happening again,” said Stanley.

“He is living eternally in heaven and hopefully many others will join him there because of his service and sacrifice,” said Bond.

Shawn Chitnis reports for CBS4 News at 10 on weekends and CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. throughout the week. Email him story ideas at smchitnis@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

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