Convoy honors slain state police trooper

Trooper Joel Davis convoy

The slain state trooper killed in the line of duty on Sunday night will be laid to rest on Saturday afternoon following a funeral at Fort Drum.  Services for trooper Joel R. Davis were announced Tuesday afternoon by state police.  The funeral will be held at McGrath Gymnasium, 10050 Tigris River Valley Road, at 1 p.m. Saturday.  Calling hours also will be held at the Fort Drum gymnasium, on Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the public and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. for law enforcement officials.  Trooper Davis was killed Sunday night in a shooting in Theresa.  Also killed was Nichole Walters, wife of alleged shooter Justin Walters. Walters, charged with first- and second-degree murder, is currently being held without bail.  Trooper Davis, from Evans Mills, was highly regarded by his fellow law enforcement officers and first responders, according to those who spoke to the Times on Monday.  Tuesday, fire department, police and EMS personnel in Jefferson County had a chance to honor him when his body was brought back home from Syracuse, escorted by a motorcade of state troopers and other law enforcement vehicles.  The motorcade ended at the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home on 632 State St., where the family met their loved one’s body.  Although he worked all night, city firefighter Andrew Denney knew that he needed to honor the slain state trooper.  He had hoped to join his colleagues with the city’s fire department at Arsenal and Massey streets to honor the trooper killed in the line of duty while his body was returned to Watertown.  But Mr. Denney ended up with a contingent of town of Watertown firefighters, EMS personnel and Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies who were perched at the Massey Street overpass on Monday morning to see a procession of state police and other law enforcement vehicles that escorted the trooper’s body back home.  A Cape Vincent firefighter was in his full dress uniform.  The convoy of vehicles was met by similar scenes all the way from Syracuse, where the trooper’s trip began earlier in the morning.  It didn’t matter that Mr. Denney was not with his colleagues.  What mattered was that he was honoring the trooper killed Sunday night while responding to a domestic incident in the town of Theresa, Mr. Denney stressed.  “It means a lot to the family,” he added.  He was there with his two 8-year-old sons, Reegan and Mason, and wife Danielle, a paramedic with the Watertown Ambulance Service, “to show respect” to Trooper Davis, Mr. Denney said.  Watertown Fire Chief Charles Dillon got word Monday about the showing of respect and organized about a dozen of his firefighters to go to the Massey Street overpass to view the procession as it went by.  A large American flag hung from two ladder trucks and the group stood at attention when the trooper’s body and the vehicles passed underneath,  “To honor a law enforcement officer is the least we can do,” he said.  Thomas Horning, his daughter Keira L. Morgia Horning and her sister Cora R. Morgia were returning from a doctor’s appointment when they came upon the memorial.  Knowing it was for the slain trooper, they stood at the start of the bridge as they watched the procession go by.  “It’s not every day you get to see something like this,” Mr. Horning said.  Dozens of people lined up while the motorcade went through downtown Watertown.  City Fire Capt. Christopher Hayman was part of a group of firefighters that helped with traffic control while the motorcade came through Arsenal and Massey streets, where county employees from the Jefferson County Office Building paid respects.  “It was a somber event,” he said.

To watch footage of the convoy, visit http://wdt.me/TrooperDavisProcession.

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