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Thousands attend slain Florida deputy's funeral

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The First Baptist Church of Orlando, Fla., hosted a phalanx of uniformed law enforcement officers who arrived from police departments and sheriff's offices from all over Florida, some from other states, to pay respects pertaining to slain Orange County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jonathan Scott Pine, 34, a two-year sworn OCSO member.

Rows and rows of uniforms blanketed the grassy lawn outside the church; scores of law enforcers filled the church seating, in quiet support of Deputy Pine's family.

Deputy Pine's American flag-draped casket, in repose, was centrally placed near an altar, flanked with the respectfully-adorned Honor Guard and finitely-disciplined presence next to their fallen brother, donned in his OCSO class-A uniform.

Deputy Pine's assigned take-home car, unit #1142, fully-marked and adorned with a floral wreath placed upon the vehicle's hood, stood placidly in front of the church.

Deputy Pine was shot and killed by an auto burglar after responding to a complaint of auto break-ins in-progress. Upon Deputy Pine arriving to find a potential auto theft suspect, he transmitted his final radio messages to Orange County law enforcement dispatchers, providing his location and that he was about to conduct an "investigatory stop" of a solo male suspect.

The next few seconds erupted with a foot pursuit through residential terrain as Deputy Pine chased convicted felon Benjamin Holtermann, 28. Holtermann fled and hid, in waiting, for Deputy Pine to turn the corner of a home. Holtermann ambushed Deputy Pine and fired his weapon three times; two bullets were absorbed by Deputy Pine's ballistic vest, and the third pierced through his body near his armpit, unprotected by the bullet-proof vest.

Back-up deputies arrived and found Deputy Pine as he lain unconscious and mortally wounded. Seconds later, those same back-up deputies heard gunfire in the vicinity. When they investigated the origin of the gunfire, they found the body of Holtermann, dead from a self-inflicted bullet wound.

On Saturday, February 15, 2014, Deputy Jonathan Scott Pine was laid to rest, with a full-honors police funeral. Bagpipes wafted the lofty space of the church and burial site grounds. Orange County Sheriff's aviators conducted a proverbial fly-by via police helicopter. A 21-gun salute cracked through the air and resonated among a somber environment of mourning law enforcement officers, family, friends, and citizens.

The lengthy caravan of law enforcement vehicles, each with emergency lights illuminated, snaked through Orange County streets. Vehicular traffic at intersections along the funeral route was temporarily halted by motorcade officers.

Police leaders from the Orange County Sheriff's Office and surrounding-area police agencies comforted Deputy Pine's wife, three young children, and family.

Iconoclastic black mourning bands were wrapped around law enforcement badges, paying tribute to a fallen brother who perished in the brave and courageous performance of duty on February 12, 2014.

The "final call" via police radio emanated an OCSO dispatcher's voice. Traditional police funerals signify the dispatcher hailing a law enforcement officer via police radio; the sobering effect of that particular deputy not answering his radio denotes the last communication and the stark reality of a fallen comrade in arms.

Albeit a prior professional in the banking industry, Deputy Pine departed banking to pursue his childhood passion to be a law enforcement officer. Hence, his second career commenced 25 months ago...and concluded when this tragic event evolved.

The reminder of selfless acts and constant peril law enforcement officers face on-duty becomes reality-based when a police funeral lays to rest yet another police officer who self-sacrificed and fulfilled his oath.

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