Community honors fallen Trooper as remembrance services begin

Community honors fallen Trooper as remembrance services begin

Trooper Joel Davis's departure from the Reed and Benoit Funeral Home was not to the same scale as his arrival - the number of cars in the procession was a fraction of the size of Tuesday's - but those who saw it say the moment was no less powerful.

The way State Police honor those killed in the line of duty has been on full display this week in Watertown. Sheryl Berlas, who manages the Parkview Cleaners across the street from the funeral home, has likely seen as much of it as anyone.

"When I come in at 6:30 every morning and see those troopers standing there it really hits home," Berlas said. She says it's all that people have really been talking about. "Everybody is asking why? How come? There is really no answer really," she said. "It's a crying shame."

Shortly before noon Friday Sheryl watched as the hearse left Watertown bound for Fort Drum. Along its route it passed homes that placed tributes along the road for the longtime protector of the community.

One of the residents said he knew Trooper Davis to be a man who cared deeply about his job, and he counts himself among the many who care deeply about the job Trooper Davis did. "They are saddened by what happened," Berlas said. "Glad to see the police officers and sheriffs and everybody out there."

Many businesses in the area have also put up stickers honoring Trooper Davis. It portrays a trooper badge with a black banner across it and marks the end of watch date for Trooper Davis: July 9, 2017.

State Police say Davis, 36, was responding to a call of shots fired at a home on County Route 46 in Theresa when he was shot once and killed. Justin D. Walters, 32, a resident of the home and a Fort Drum soldier, has been charged for both Davis' death and the death of his wife, 27-year-old Nicole V. Walters, who was also found dead at the scene.

SEE ALSO | Funeral arrangements set for slain wife of U.S. Army soldier

A third victim, Rebecca Finkle, was also shot but is expected to survive.

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