More than 1,000 people attended a funeral for Sgt. Adam Sowders on Friday in College Station and afterward the 31-year-old was laid to rest about 30 miles away in Somerville, The Bryan-College Station Eagle reported ( http://bit.ly/1hMbuzc).
Sowders was killed just a day after his seven-year anniversary with the Burleson County Sheriff's Office. He was shot in the early hours of Dec. 19 as he served a search warrant at a mobile home near Snook. A 28-year-old man has been charged with capital murder in Sowders' death.
Sowders' uncle, Carter Stone, said public service was in his nephew's blood. Sowder grew up among firefighters, emergency medical services workers and police officers, and as a toddler he was known to play inside a Somerville police cruiser and pretend to respond to calls.
"Your typical grade-school kid can probably not decipher all the call signs and the codes heard over a police scanner, but the Sowders boys could, and they usually did whether you wanted to hear about it or not," Stone said, drawing laughs at the funeral.
Sowders followed in the footsteps of his father, brothers, an uncle and a cousin when he became a volunteer firefighter at the age of 16.
As law enforcement officers, firefighters, family members and friends gathered at the graveside, a dispatcher called for Sowders twice over the police radio. Then Burleson County Sheriff Dale Stroud retired Sowders' badge number and declared Sowders "10-42," the call code for the end of a tour of duty.
There also was a 21-gun salute, a flyover and doves flying overhead.
From the radio inside a nearby Burleson County patrol car, a dispatcher's voice cracked. "God speed, Deputy Sowders," she said.
Information from: The Eagle, http://www.theeagle.com