Law Enforcement officers to pay tribute to fallen Hutto Sgt. Chris Kelley
Hutto Police Sergeant Chris Kelley who was killed on a traffic stop last week will be laid to rest Tuesday. On Monday, first responders held a rehearsal.
Officer Chris Vela and Sgt. Chris Kelley were best friends and co-workers at the Hutto Police Department.
On Tuesday, Vela will carry his friend to his final resting place as a pallbearer.
"He was the man and the officer that anytime you met him you would never forget him. You would never forget his face, his smile, and just his dedication to the job," said Vela.
Vela and other first responders rehearsed their roles in Kelley's funeral on the lawn of Shoreline Church in North Austin Monday.
"We not only lost an officer, but a very dear friend and anytime an officer lays down his life it's critically important that you honor them the best way we can. Chris Kelley was a devoted police officer, family member and all we can do is prep and prepare for this to give him the best memorial that we can and honor him and his devotion to the community and the City of Hutto," said Vela.
Kelley worked to keep the City of Hutto safe, but he didn't stop there. He watched over all of us serving in the U.S. Air Force.
"He served his country. He served his community and he served his friends and his family with the deepest of hearts," said Vela.
Kelley's father was an APD officer. He leaves behind a wife and two small children.
The Kelley's released a statement that said in part, "Chris was our rock. He was our protector, our strength and our joy. He was a son, brother, husband and daddy and he was taken away from us too soon. Our hearts are broken."
They also thanked the public for the outpouring of support.
Vela echoed those words, "I can't say thank you enough on behalf of our department and city. It's just been a hurricane of support. It tremendously helps with the process knowing that everybody is here to help us out and honor Chris and everything that he's done for us.
The procession is scheduled to depart Shoreline Church at or shortly after 1:30 p.m. taking Toll 45 east to Toll 130 eventually connecting to IH-35 at Highway 195. That is where vehicles will break away for the family to continue to the private burial service.
You are invited to line the procession route, but are urged to do so with caution.
FOX 7 will carry the service live on TV and online. Coverage starts at 11 a.m. Tuesday.