Community says goodbye to Sgt. Reyka - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Community says goodbye to Sgt. Reyka

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Reporter: Suzanne Boyd

Wednesday's funeral began at the Bankatlantic Center in Broward County. Thousands of people, including police from across the state, attended the memorial for Sgt. Chris Reyka.

Thousands came with heavy hearts and plenty of tissues to honor a sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty.

Father Donald Munro, St. Rita's Catholic Church, describes, "He put on that uniform every day to make our society better. He gave his life for us, and all of you who put on that same police uniform are there to protect us and make our life safer."

He protected the people of Broward County for 18 years until Friday. Sergeant Chris Reyka was gunned down outside a Walgreens in Pompano Beach - hit by a barrage of bullets, one to the head.

Reyka's killers are still out there, but his family isn't bitter.

Mark Reyka, Chris' brother, says, "As a Christian, I harbor no ill feelings to the people who killed him. I know he wouldn't."

Wednesday's memorial service wasn't about the way he died, but more about the way he lived.

Ashley Reyka, Chris' daughter, recalls, "I will always remember our ritual. I would give him a kiss and then run behind him and say drive safe dad, and he said, 'I always do'.

Sean Reyka, Chris' son, describes, "He was a best friend and a mentor."

Jessica, Chris' niece, adds, "He really was an awesome guy. And Aunt Kim and family, I love you so much. He's looking down on us and blowing kisses to everybody I know it."

Wreathes lined the Bankatlantic Center in Sunrise, photos of the proud father of four appeared on a jumbo screen, and tributes of friendship filled the area. But many can't help but wonder "Why?".

Now, an American flag drapes over Reyka's coffin, a top honor to a man who touched so many lives.

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