CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - As the sky cleared and the sun appeared on Monday afternoon, Charleston County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Matuskovic was laid to rest.
A large procession led mourners through West Ashley to the burial site at Old St. Andrews Parish. Hundreds of people lined the route touting flags and homemade signs, paying their respects for the fallen deputy.
"I am just extremely grateful to the community," said Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon. "I've lived here most of my life and a few times when I've seen the kind of response that we saw during the procession."
Law enforcement agencies, from around the state, attended the traditional burial service.
"The kinship is amazing and it gives you goose bumps when you see that kind of turnout," said Cannon.
Law enforcement officials from Matuskovic's hometown from New York were also in attendance. They all stood together, in a chilling, silent salute as Charleston County Dispatch did one final call for Unit 173.
"Dispatch to all units be advised, 173 has ended his tour of duty...May he rest in peace."
During the burial ceremony, Cannon gave a folded United States flag to Matuskovic's mother. Another was given to the fallen deputy's fiance. His grave site was adorned with flowers and surrounded by loved ones.
Also at the burial, Deputy Michael Ackerman, Matuskovic's colleague who was also injured during the tragic shooting. Ackerman is recovering from a gunshot wound to leg. He was in a wheelchair, and then a walker during the events.
"It's good for him to be here and apart of the service," said Cannon. "I think that's a part of the healing process."
Cannon says it will take time for Ackerman and the rest of his agency to face the reality that Matuskovic won't be coming back to work by their side, at least not in the physical.
As the burial service ended, as if it was timed, the sun went away and the clouds rolled in. Law enforcement officers, who didn't even know each other, could be seen embracing, mourning for a hero's life cut short.