Funeral held for Virginia trooper killed at bus station

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The family of Virginia State Trooper Chad P. Dermyer watch as his casket is taken out of the Liberty Baptist Church following a memorial service, Tuesday, April 5, 2016, in Hampton, Va.(AP Photo/Steve Helber, Pool)

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) — A Virginia State Trooper who was killed by a gunman at a bus station was remembered Tuesday as an exceptional officer and devoted family man, who left a lasting impression on those who knew him.

Thousands of police officers, state officials, friends and family members of Trooper Chad P. Dermyer gathered at the Liberty Baptist Church in Hampton to celebrate the life of the 37-year-old former Marine, husband and father of two children.

A private burial in Gloucester County will follow the ceremony.

State Police Superintendent Col. Steven Flaherty called Dermyer a "true professional" both on and off duty, who had natural instincts that made him an excellent law enforcement officer, even on the day of his death.

"He identified a murderer that day. Unfortunately he paid the ultimate price for his skill," Flaherty said.

Authorities say Dermyer was fatally shot Thursday by James Brown III at a Greyhound station in Richmond, where police were conducting a counterterrorism training exercise. Brown was killed by two other state troopers after he opened fire.

Police have not said what they believe motivated the shooting. Brown, who was from Aurora, Illinois, had a lengthy criminal record, including charges of attempted murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and body armor as a felon and was most recently released from prison in 2014.

Dermeyer served on police forces in Jackson, Michigan, and Newport News, Virginia, before becoming a state trooper in 2014. The Michigan native spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Cyndi Grace, who Dermyer's partner at the Newport News Police Department for four years, described him as a natural leader with a "megawatt" smile, who put his family before anything else.

"He was an officer you would have wanted a loved one to meet if they ever needed assistance," said Grace. She and Dermyer were known among the police ranks as "Gracemyer" because they were so close.

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