Local law enforcement officers are honoring their brother in blue who was killed while on duty.
On Thursday, Sky Action News Jax was overhead as deputies from St. Johns County led the officer's body to its final resting place in St. Augustine.
Officer Floyd East Jr. was killed in October 2017.
Freshman student Hollis Daniels is accused of shooting the 48-year-old while at Texas Tech University.
East wanted to be buried at sea.
His family has decided to have the ceremony in St. Augustine.
“It’s very emotional,” said Officer Dee Brown, of the St. Augustine Police Department.
“Even just the escort from the airport was very emotional,” Brown said. “Any time you have an officer killed in the line of duty, you just think, 'It could have been me.'”
East’s remains will be made into a special reef.
The Sarasota nonprofit Eternal Reef is in town to help.
East’s family will decorate his reef, and then he’ll be immortalized at the bottom of the ocean, 8 miles offshore.
“He was a very active scuba diver and he loved studying the history of pirates, so when the time came to choose a location, their family felt as though, certainly St. Augustine, one with good diving conditions and, certainly, with its pirate history, was the ideal location for Officer East to be laid to rest,” said George Frankel, of Eternal Reefs.
St. Augustine police may not have had a personal relationship with East, but he’s their brother in blue.
And so they will solemnly pay their respects to him.
The ceremony will start at 10 a.m. Monday.
The family sent Action News Jax this statement:
© 2021 Cox Media Group