Officers honor Deputy McCartney, alongside hundreds at growing memorial
PUYALLUP, Wash. — Just hours after Deputy Daniel McCartney responded to a call that cost him his life–a memorial was already forming at the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department South Hill precinct to honor his service.
“We brought two candles just to show our support,” said Jodie Moore.
Moore didn’t know McCartney personally but felt compelled to honor him after the deputy lost his life.
Men and women, many who were total strangers to the officer dropped off flowers, handwritten notes and balloons—in the color blue--to honor the deputy’s ultimate sacrifice.
"Knowing that he’s protecting us and our neighborhoods and...he’s not hear anymore," said an emotional Moore.
For others--it was a bit more personal.
"Were here to support him. My son's a deputy," said Greg Pressel, choking up. "It easily could’ve been him."
Pressel is a former Washington State Trooper who’s lost 16 friends in the line of duty in over 28 years.
And yet, despite the loss, Pressel’s son Kevin followed in his footsteps.
Deputy Kevin Pressel worked alongside McCartney for the Pierce County Sheriff's office.
"I think this is the greatest job in the world. I get to come here every day and I get to meet new people and talk to new people and help people in their time of need," said Deputy Kevin Pressel. "That’s what Dan was doing last night. He responded to a call when someone needed help and he knew the dangers just like we all do--but he still went anyway."
Kevin Pressel went to the scene last night too.
"He was called out. He was off duty and was called out to the scene at the perimeter and then about 3:30 called and told us that his buddy passed away," said Kevin's father Greg Pressel.
"He had been a cop a little bit longer than I had and I kind of watched him and tried to be like him a little bit," said Kevin Pressel.
Tonight he's coping with loss – that’s become all too familiar.
"I was a Community Service Officer when the Lakewood incident happened and I was really young when that happened and it kinda pushed me even more wanting to do this full time." said Kevin Pressel.
And for the dozens of officers paying tribute Monday night—it’s a risk they understand they take too.
"The sacrifice can be great at times like people are seeing, when you see the community come out and support us like they have—this is why we’re out here," said Kevin Pressel. "This is what we fight for."
Fellow officers will be honoring Deputy McCartney in a procession at 1pm Tuesday. The procession will go from the Pierce County Medical Examiners Office in Tacoma to the Mountain View Memorial in Lakewood.