Memorial service for Pierce County Deputy Sheriff Daniel McCartney will be Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 1 p.m., at Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma. Follow this Facebook page for updates.
There were salutes, solemn faces and tears as the body of a fallen Pierce County sheriff’s deputy was driven to a funeral home Tuesday.
Deputy Daniel A. McCartney, 34, lay in a flag-draped coffin as hundreds of law enforcement officers gathered at the Medical Examiner’s Office.
More than 50 motorcycle officers idled out front of the building on Pacific Avenue while about 20 uniformed deputies stood in back, waiting for the coffin.
A chaplain and a deputy walked McCartney’s widow to the back of the building, where they stood beside a waiting Central Pierce Fire & Rescue ambulance.
As deputies saluted, an honor guard carried McCartney’s coffin outside and carefully loaded it into the ambulance.
A few deputies wore caps bearing the inscription, “In honor of Deputy Kent Mundell.” Mundell was shot Dec. 21, 2009, while answering a domestic violence call and died a week later.
At 1:26 p.m. Tuesday, four motorcycle officers led the ambulance out of the parking lot and onto Pacific Avenue, kicking off the six-mile procession to Mountain View Memorial in Lakewood.
Rachael Haskins, of Frederickson, stood on Pacific Avenue along with hundred of others. She had made a sign reading, “Thank you for keeping us safe!! Gone but not forgotten. RIP EOW Deputy McCartney.”
It took a half-hour for the procession to wind its way down South 84th Street and onto Steilacoom Boulevard SW to the funeral home.
Dozens of onlookers and emergency responders lined the streets along the way to pay their respects. About 100 firefighters, police officers and citizens gathered at South 84th Street and South Tacoma Way.
“We are all family,” said West Pierce firefighter Garret Smith as he stood beside a fire truck, awaiting the procession. “So, it’s important to show solidarity.”
A man on South Tacoma Way waved an American flag as the long line of police vehicles followed behind the ambulance, emergency lights flashing.
Emblazoned on the side of the ambulance was McCartney’s badge number, 484.
Some were caught unaware by the procession. A woman walking her dog stopped in her tracks and saluted. Another man, in a black chef’s uniform, shot video on his phone.
When the procession reached the cemetery it wound past dozens of U.S. flags and past a memorial for fallen officers.
McCartney’s casket was carried into a chapel, where it will be stood over 24 hours a day until it is taken to his funeral.
Funeral arrangements are still being made, but officials said a service is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 18. A location has not been set.
McCartney is the fourth law enforcement officer killed nationwide this year. He is the seventh Pierce County sheriff’s deputy to die in the line of duty.
McCartney died late Sunday after responding to a home invasion in Frederickson and found two suspects fleeing the area. He gave chase and exchanged gunfire with the suspects.
Sheriff Paul Pastor chose to be at the court appearance. “It’s important that we do two things in this case,” he said outside court. “The first thing is to show honor, and that’s going on right now at the procession. The second thing is to work to do justice. And that’s what was going on here.”
The deputy leaves behind a wife and three sons, ages 4, 6 and 9. Donations to his family can be made to a legacy fund at any TAPCO Credit Union in McCartney’s name.