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:
"Floyd loved the sea, he was a certified diver, and anytime he could, he’d be close to the water. Months before he died, he talked about being buried at sea. He came across the web-site for Eternal Reefs and said he loved the idea of being a home for “Fishy’s” and helping the environment rebuild damaged reefs. After his death, Carmen wanted to fulfill Floyd’s wishes and remembered “Eternal Reefs”. She decided on St. Augustine because it possessed qualities Floyd treasured; it has pristine beaches, is a historical site with pirates, conquistadores, claims to having the Fountain of Youth, Ghosts, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not. All things Floyd loved. He was always learning and sharing fun facts.
Floyd loved his job. He loved helping people and came to love the students at Texas Tech where he worked. He was devoted to keeping them safe. He wore his badge with pride and did all he could to instill trust in him and his department. He was so proud when he received his Law Enforcement License and his badge. We are honored that so many of his fellow brothers and their families have paid tribute to him. It will never be forgotten.
Thank you, Chief Fox and the St Augustine Police Department, for planning such a beautiful farewell for Floyd. Thank you, Officer Brown for all of your hard work in organizing this for us and to Eternal Reefs, George, Shelby and Becky, for surprising us with such a beautiful gesture. To all the Law Enforcement Agencies that participated, thank you for taking time from your duties to be part of the memorial. We are forever family united by the “Thin Blue Line” and we will do everything we can always to promote support for law enforcement and to pay forward the love and support we have received. The sacrifices you and your families make every day do not go unnoticed.
God Bless you all."
Cox Media Group