NORCROSS — Hundreds of mourners gathered in Georgia to remember a deputy U.S. marshal who was killed while he and other officers were pursuing a fugitive.
A funeral was held Saturday in at Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross for 53-year-old Patrick Carothers of Flowery Branch, who was deputy commander of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force for the U.S. Marshals Service.
Carothers lived in the Atlanta area. He died after being shot twice while trying to serve a warrant Nov. 18 at a mobile home in rural Long County, about 55 miles southeast of Savannah.
WSB-TV reported that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch attended the funeral and read a letter of condolences from President Barack Obama.
“The American people are forever indebted to the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to safeguard their communities and promote the cause of justice,” the president’s letter said.
Lynch said while she had never met Carothers, she felt his spirit by meeting his family and colleagues who held him in high regard.
“He was the kind of person that we all hope our children will grow up to become,” Lynch said. “That’s who he was. He was a person of integrity who loved his family. He strengthened his community. He served his country.”
Carothers was a 26-year-veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service. He will be buried Tuesday in Luray, Va., where he graduated from high school. Survivors include his wife, Terry, and their five children.
U.S. Marshals Service deputy director David Harlow said he is grateful for Carothers’ devotion to his job.
“Pat was a man who had a deep love for his family, a passion for law enforcement, a deep faith and commitment to serving others,” Harlow said at the funeral.
The funeral procession traveled from Flanigan’s Funeral Home in Buford down Interstate 985, then on I-85 to Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross for memorial services.
Carothers and other officers were pursuing Dontrell Montese Carter, 25, who had been wanted in Sumter County, S.C., since mid-September on charges of attempted murder, domestic violence and illegally discharging a weapon. The Marshals Service said Carothers and his team had tracked Carter to a mobile home just outside Ludowici, about 55 miles southwest of Savannah. Carothers was shot as they were entering the home.
Law enforcement officers returned fire and shot Carter multiple times, the Marshals Service said. Both Carter and Carothers were taken to area hospitals, where they were pronounced dead.
Carter had been on the run since he fled South Carolina in mid-September.