Community gathers to say goodbye to Sgt. Kelley

Hutto police Sgt. Chris Kelley was laid to rest on June 30. The community he served has been in mourning since he was killed during a traffic stop last Wednesday. They gathered along the funeral procession route to say a final goodbye.

Cars lined the 130 Toll Road near the Hutto exit as flags waved in the wind signifying the loss of a protector and hero.

Greg and Joanne Grimes say they didn’t know Sgt. Kelley but they wanted to show his family their appreciation for his service.

Greg says, “It’s pretty sad right now.”

“It’s very heartbreaking. He had small children. He had a wife,” Joanne adds.

Telle Mejia operates a tow truck. He says he often saw Sgt. Kelley at accident scenes.

“It’s very hard. It’s very hard to lose someone like him,” Mejia says.

They and others stood waiting for Sgt. Kelley to make a final pass through the city. Strangers united by tragedy.

Aimee Walker says, “They protect us and unfortunately when they do try to protect us they get hurt. This is the only way I can think of to show my love and support.”

As the hearse went by, people stood in silence. Someone released blue balloons and a woman flashed the hand sign meaning “I Love You”.

What appeared to be hundreds of motorcycle and patrol cars passed by and officers from as far away as Dallas and Beaumont participated.  It was a sight that residents say they won’t soon forget. And they say they won’t forget Sgt. Kelley or his service to the community either.

“God speed and we will be thinking of you. From here on out you’ll be in our hearts and memories. We won’t forget you,” Susan Allman says.

Sgt. Kelley was buried at a military cemetery in Killeen and was given full military honors from the Air Force.