TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) - Hundreds turned out Wednesday morning for the funeral of Texarkana, Texas Police Officer William Sprague, who died Saturday as the result of a hit and run while he was on duty early Friday morning.
The funeral, with full police honors, began at 10:00 a.m. this morning at First Baptist Church Moores Lane. Hundreds of officers lined up outside and filled the church for the service, which began with Frank Sinatra's "I Did It My Way." At the front of the packed sanctuary, Sprague's casket sat draped with a Texas flag.
TTPD Lt. Kevin Schutte opened the service with a sincere thanks on behalf of Officer Sprague's family for the outpouring of support. He went on to read from Ecclesiastes 3:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Texarkana, Texas Police Chief Dan Shiner spoke, remembering "a fine young man that lost his life because of a cruel and senseless act of violence."
Interment will follow at Oakridge Cemetery in Malvern, Arkansas. Arrangements are with Texarkana Funeral Home, Texas.
On Tuesday, members of the community lined the streets outside the church with American flags in tribute. They marked the end of the procession as mourners entered the building.
Visitation was held at the church Tuesday night.
On Tuesday, Lt. Schutte said that he believes Officer Sprague "would ask us as professionals and his brothers just to continue the fight and to move on in a positive manner. It is tough. Emotionally it is a situation we never want to find our self in, but everyone is doing good under the circumstances."
Justin Sanders, 21, remains behind bars in connection with Officer Sprague's death. He was arrested on Friday, hours after police say Sprague was intentionally struck as Sanders attempted to leave Grady T. Wallace Park, where Sprague was responding to a disturbance.
Sanders was originally charged with aggravated assault on a public servant and booked into the Bi-State Justice Center on $1.5 million bond. He has since been moved to the Harrison County Jail. Investigators are still working to determine what charges Sanders will face as a result of Sprague's death.
According to Texarkana, TX police, Sprague is the fourth officer in the history of the department to die in the line of duty.
Sprague, who was 30, is survived by his wife, Stephanie, and 4-year-old son Caden, as well as his mother and step-father, Marsa and Mike Green, father, Chipper Sprague, in-laws, Mike and Karen Anderson, two brothers and two sisters.
Texarkana, TX police say the family of Officer Sprague has requested that in lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the American Diabetes Association, 1701 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22331-1733.
Donations to the Sprague family can also be made at any branch of Red River Federal Credit Union or at Morris Sheppard Federal Credit Union. The accounts will be in the name of Stephanie Sprague.