A sea of mourners lined the streets of Jersey City, N.J., on Tuesday, to honor the life of Detective Joseph Seals, who was murdered in broad daylight on Dec. 10.
Seals, remembered as a hardworking police officer and dedicated father of five, was laid to rest after somber ceremonies and touching tributes. In one particularly heartbreaking moment, one of Seals' sons, Ethan, saluted his father's casket while wearing the fallen hero's uniform cap.
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Seals, 40, born in Jersey City, was eulogized by Police Chief Mike Kelly, who told the grieving crowd at Saint Aedan's Church, "I'm at a loss for words to describe the callous, heinous murder of Joe, but I'm not at a loss for words in describing the last seven days."
The Daily Mail reported that at the end of Kelly's speech, the chief looked toward Seals' coffin and said, "Hey Joe, we got it from here," causing the full pews in the century-old church to break out in applause.
According to NJ.com, thousands of police officers came to pay their respects, and "they'd come from around the country — from across New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, Delaware, and beyond." Officers in attendance told the outlet they had "seen groups from as far away as Los Angeles, Texas, and Portland."
Seals was honored during the funeral procession with a troop of bagpipers who walked ahead of the hearse carrying his casket. A group of fellow officers walked to the beat of a drum alongside the vehicle.
A lone black horse followed — saddled up with riding boots turned backwards in the stirrups — symbolically absent of a rider.
Seals is survived by his wife, Laura, and five children, Hailey, Adrian, Ethan, Isabel, and Ivanna.
The two suspects in Seals' murder were killed by police after they also allegedly killed three civilians in what authorities called a "targeted attack" on a Jewish Kosher supermarket.
Both suspects had alleged links to a group called the Black Hebrew Israelites, and law enforcement believes the perpetrators' intended to target children at a Jewish school attached to the market.