RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — A somber gathering brought 2,000 people together in Randallstown for the funeral of Maryland State Trooper Shaft Hunter.
Alex DeMetrick reports the father of six was killed in the line of duty.
Respect was shown in close order and large numbers.
Maryland State Police, joined by police from states as far away as Texas and Vermont, honored and remembered Trooper First Class Shaft Hunter who was killed during an apparent high-speed chase on I-95.
“It’s always been a dangerous job. We train as best as we possibly can, and we select the best people possible. But unfortunately, deaths like this occur in this business we are in,” said Col. Terrence Sheridan, Maryland State Police Superintendent.
That dangerous business left six children without a father. He was a lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Upon his discharge Hunter joined the State Police.
His first week in the academy, he was voted class president.
“I got a call at 5:15 p.m. in the morning by one of the classmates, and was devastated. He always helped classmates out. I remember going through the academy with him. He would help other classmates when they were down. That’s the type of person he was. He’d bring you back up,” said TFC Joseph Ashman, academy classmate.
Hunter was 39 and an 11-year veteran.
Surrounding his flag-draped casket, 2,000 mourners filled the New Antioch Baptist Church in Randallstown.
Most are strangers to the family, but their service is not. Hunter shared their calling.
“We will never as a state, be able to repay the tremendous sacrifice this man has made,” said Governor Martin O’Malley.
Following the long procession to Dulaney Valley Cemetery, there was burial with full honors.
The investigation continues into the crash that killed Trooper Hunter last weekend. Police say Hunter may have been pursuing a speeding motorcycle when his cruiser hit a tractor-trailer early Saturday on Interstate 95.
A scholarship fund has been created in the trooper’s memory to benefit Hunter’s six children.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)