Grief, and hope, at vigil for Pierce County deputy

A candlelight vigil was held to honor fallen Pierce County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel McCartney in Tacoma on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (Photo: KOMO News)

TACOMA, Wash. – As the community struggles to heal from the tragic killing of Deputy Daniel McCartney, a candlelight vigil on Friday night helped many take a step in that direction.

There were tears among the crowd, but signs of hope as well.

“It's been really hard. It's very tragic,” said Jamie Rifley, who attended the service with her husband and young daughter.

In the glow of candlelight, neighbors honored McCartney's sacrifice in the line of duty. The deputy was fatally shot while responding to a robbery call in Fredrickson on Sunday night.

“We're here to reflect, and to remember a courageous man," said Pastor Tyler Sollie of Life Center Rainier, which hosted the event.

Foremost, McCartney is being remembered as a devoted husband and father of three little boys. The family made their home in Yelm, and friends said he took pride in his work and was always striving to better himself.

Through song and speeches, people tried to reach a place of understanding in such a senseless act.

“We've been torn apart by this incident. We need to put ourselves back together,” said Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor.

Toward the end of the service, McCartney's fellow law enforcement officers were called up before the stage. The crowd then held their candles aloft and saluted their service.

Several of the deputy's family members attended the vigil as well. They said they are overwhelmed both by grief and by the community's heartfelt response.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, Jan. 17. at Pacific Lutheran University's Olson Auditorium, located at 10th Avenue and 124th Street South in Tacoma.

A legacy fund that has been set up to help McCartney's family. Donations can be made at any Tapco or Twin Star Credit Union or online through Tacoma/Pierce County Crime Stoppers.

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