CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Victory Tabernacle Church of God in Midlothian is busy preparing for the visitation and funeral service of Henrico Police Officer Trey Sutton, who was killed in a crash last week.
"This was tragic in the sense it was just an accident," explained Pastor Sam Luke.
This isn’t the first time the church has stepped up to offer help following a line of duty death. Luke said they offer their space without any cost to the family. It is also where Chesterfield County Police hold their academy graduation ceremonies.
"I've been here 12 years, and unfortunately, we've had the sad experience of doing this before," said Luke. "We want to send the message that we back the blue, that we love our police officers. And of course, there's a greater message, and that is that we're all part of the human family. And when tragedy strikes one person, it impacts all of us."
While Luke didn’t know Sutton, he wants the community to understand how brave he and other officers are who risk their lives every time they put on a uniform.
“This church is supporting them with our prayers, and we believe in what they do," Luke noted. "He could have chosen another career. I'm sure that he would have been successful, probably in anything that he wanted to do, but he wanted to serve and protect, and he should be honored, and his memory should be celebrated for that.”
Monday night, strangers, as well as active and retired officers, including some members of Sutton's 74th Basic Police Academy that graduated just a few months ago, gathered to pay their respects to the fallen officer at the Henrico Police Memorial near Parham Road.
Sutton’s obituary said he loved the Red Sox, Patriots, hunting, golfing and his Great Danes, Avery and Iris.
He leaves behind a fiancee', Zoe Pierson, his parents, a brother, grandparents and an aunt, uncles and cousins.
Tuesday night, the Sutton family will receive friends at the Tabernacle Church of God from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The funeral service will be held at the church Wednesday at 11 a.m.
CBS 6 will have live team coverage of Officer Sutton’s visitation tonight starting at 5 p.m.