CLARK COUNTY, Ohio — More than a thousand people showed up to First Christian Church in Springfield to pay their respects to a Clark County deputy who was killed in the line of duty during a standoff last week.
The sheriff's office responded to a report of a woman breaking into a home in the Harmony Estates Mobile Home Park and five to six shots being fired on July 24.
Deputy Matthew Yates and other deputies checked inside the home where they were met with gunfire. Sheriff Deb Burchett said Yates was shot and went down inside the home where he had to be rescued by Clark County Special Operations and other tactical teams.
Yates was flown to Miami Valley Hospital where he later died.
Hundreds of law enforcement from across the state wearing black bands across their badges came to the funeral to honor a man many described as a superhero because of how tall and strong he was.
His death was especially hard for the sheriff who said Yates was like a son to her.
"I've known Matthew since he was a little guy and I worked on the road with his father. We were family, weren't just deputy and deputy. We were family we were very close, " Burchett said.
As the casket left the church, dozens of people lined the streets around the cemetery to pay their respects to the 15-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department.
Many say they are in disbelief that Deputy Yates is gone.
"I just couldn't believe, I couldn't believe him getting shot by anyone. I can't even believe anyone would hate him even shoot him. I couldn't understand it," said Demerius Cole. a childhood friend.
Kevin Miller also waited for the hearse to arrive. His son is a Springfield police officer and said when his son heard the call about the shooting, he put his SWAT gear on and headed to the scene.
Miller said having a child in law enforcement means there's always worry about getting a call they won't be coming home.
"Whenever I get a call like this, when an officer down, it hits very close when you're a parent," he said.
A motive for the shooting that killed Deputy Yates remains under investigation.
The Springfield News-Sun reported an arrest warrant was issued for the man who was also killed in the incident and relatives of that man called 911 for a welfare check, expressing concerns for his mental safety.
Meanwhile, the sheriff says Deputy Yates will always be remembered as a dedicated member of the law enforcement community, whose courage to run towards danger is an example of how much he carried for his community
"He is absolutely a hero in the community, no one can deny that," she said.
Deputy Yates leaves behind a wife, a mother, a father, a daughter and two sons.