The Virginia State Police trooper shot to death last week in Dinwiddie County was remembered at his funeral today as a humble protector of the public who mentored many officers in his 40-year career -- a large man who had a gentle touch.
"He was built like a grizzly bear, but he had the disposition of a teddy bear," State Police Superintendent W. Steven Flaherty said of Master Trooper Junius A. Walker, who stood about 6 feet 4 inches and weighed more than 300 pounds.
Speaking to nearly 3,000 people at Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Petersburg, Flaherty said that Walker, 63, had been a man of excellent character and "unshakable integrity."
Gov. Bob McDonnell said during the ceremony that Walker "touched an amazing amount of people" in his career and, like many troopers, did his best to perform a dangerous job.
"You never know when you're going to be called to give the ultimate sacrifice," McDonnell said.
The governor said Walker "truly had the heart of a servant."
"We all owe Junius Walker an incredible debt of gratitude," McDonnell said.
Former State Police Superintendent W. Gerald Massengill also praised Walker as a humble man and a good listener, who rarely interrupted anyone and had a long fuse. He
The funeral continued well into the early afternoon. When it ends, Walker is to be buried at a private ceremony in Brunswick County.
The suspect in Walker's killing, Russell E. Brown III, 28, of Chesterfield County, is being held without bond on charges that he killed Walker and tried to kill another trooper who came to assist Walker.
Brown is charged with one count of capital murder, one of attempted capital murder and two related firearm charges.
Authorities have said they will seek the death penalty.
Copyright 2013 - Richmond Times-Dispatch, Va.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service