JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Hundreds of officers from all over traveled to Jonesboro Saturday afternoon to pay their respects to Trumann Officer Jonathan Schmidt, a man who risked it all to protect his community. Late Tuesday night, Officer Schmidt was fatally wounded while making a traffic stop. Saturday his funeral was held. It was a day filled with emotion, all about paying tribute and remembrance to a man whose death can be felt all across Region 8.
It was an overwhelming sight as officers lined Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro to honor Trumann Officer Jonathan Schmidt. "I mean, I've never seen this. This is something else, knowing that all these people respected him," said Tina Nickerson from Jonesboro.
"We're close. We're not related, but we're still a brotherhood. Everybody just banned together," said Jonesboro Police Officer Blake Anderson.
As the precession arrived at the church, flags waved and individuals saluted. A tribute to a man who lost his life in line of duty. A risk officers take every time they put on their uniform. "Everyday we go out there we risk our life, but we do it to help the community," said Anderson.
Anderson grew up in Trumann, and remembers Schmidt as a man who always wanted to be an officer. "He loved it. He quit working another job just to be a police officer. He took a cut in pay. That's what he wanted to do."
Once the funeral service concluded, some lined the street as the casket was walked by the precession to the burial site, bringing with it a sea of mourners, who said goodbye to Schmidt for the last time.
"Very, very sad to lose a young man at that age with a family. My heart goes out to the family, their community, their department," said former police officer Jack Chaney.
Many of the flags flew are at half staff Saturday. Officer Schmidt was buried at the Jonesboro Memorial Park.