LAKE CITY, Fla. -- Family and friends of a rookie police officer and mother killed in a house fire last week gathered to honor her Tuesday.
Brandi Jackson died last Thursday morning when the home of Lake City Police investigator David Greear went up in flames. Greear made it out with only minor injuries. Firefighters discovered Jackson's body in the charred remains.
The funeral for Jackson took place at 11 a.m. at Christ Central Ministries at 217 S.W. Dyal Ave. in Lake City.
Jackson signed on to the Lake City Police Department about two months ago. Just weeks after graduating from the police academy, her fellow law enforcement colleagues had to carry her flag-draped casket out of the Lake City church.
"She was a great police officer. She meant a lot to us and she will be missed very much," said Jackson's aunt, Debbie Daugherty.
While investigators haven't pinpointed what caused the fire on Halloween, Jackson's family tells Action News the blackened shell is a devastating reminder that two young girls will have to grow up without their mother.
"There's only one person who knows what happened and that's God," said Daugherty. "He needed another angel and Brandi was his pick."
Outside the church, police agencies from across the region showed up in droves to support the dedicated officer.
"It is a tragedy for Lake City and the whole law enforcement community of northeast Florida," said Baker County Sheriff Joey Dobson.
Inside the service, friends and family read a special passage that stated, "Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free."
A memorial fund has been established in her name at First Federal Savings Bank in Lake City to help Jackson's family. She leaves behind two young daughters, ages 2 and 4.
"Every time she left, they'd hug and kiss," said Janet Goldman, who teaches the girls at a local day care. "A loving mother, she really wanted the best for her children."
While the cause of the fire hasn't been released, investigators said it was an accident and not suspicious.
According to her stepmother, the day she received her uniform, she was so proud that she self-shot photos and sent them to all her family and friends.
Gilmore was her inspiration on the force. She had other job offers but wanted to work for LCPD.
Jackson's two daughters did not attend Tuesday's service at Christ Central. Family members tell Action News a private visitation was held Monday for the girls to say goodbye to their mother at Gateway-Forest Lawn Funeral Home.