HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – Thousands of Coloradans offered a heartfelt farewell to fallen Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Zackari Parrish on Friday.
Parrish, 29, was killed in the line of duty during a shooting Sunday morning that injured three other deputies, a police officer, and two civilians.
Long lines wrapped around the church as mourners filed in to pay their respects. Extra space was made available to accommodate the overflow crowds.
Parrish leaves behind a wife and two young daughters. His widow, Gracie Parrish, read a letter expressing her love for her late husband.
“You my love, are my hero. I am honored that you chose me to be your bride… and knowing what I know now, I would do it again in a heartbeat,” Gracie Parrish said tearfully. “Save a seat in heaven for me and meet me at the gates when the Lord calls me home. I can’t wait to be held by you again.”
The deputy’s father, Zack Parrish, and Sheriff Tony Spurlock of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, also spoke at the funeral.
Governor John Hickenlooper, Lt. Governor Donna Lynne, Rep. Ken Buck, and Rep. Mike Coffman are among the Colorado lawmakers who attended Parrish’s funeral.
The ceremony also included a 21-bell salute, a tribute conducted by the Honor Guard in lieu of a 21-gun salute.
The bell being used for the salute was also used to honor Washington State Patrol Trooper Sean O’Connel at his memorial services after he died in the line of duty in 2013.
The tribute began Friday morning in Castle Rock, where hundreds of first responders and law enforcement officers from around the state escorted Parrish’s body to Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch.
The funeral procession stretched more than a mile, with officers standing at attention and flying the American flag at nearly every overpass along the I-25 route.
You can view the full procession from Copter4 here: