HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) – Early Tuesday morning, Jacob Thompson laid a cross at the site where Master Corporal Brian LaVigne died in the line of duty on Monday night. Thompson was where when his patrol car came to a halt.
“We were kicking windows, hitting windows. I was trying to pull the windshield out trying to get air in there for him. We tried to pry open the driver door, but the damage was so significant that there was no help other than the jaws of life,” said Jacob Thompson who tried to help following the crash.
Cpl. LaVigne has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office since 1990 and was set to retire this week.
Besides the badge, 8 On Your Side learned he was a student at Gracie Fishhawk, a martial arts studio and gym, where he studied Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu.
On Tuesday, the gym posted a message on their Facebook page announcing class was canceled as they mourned the loss of Cpl. LaVigne.
“Brian was a phenomenal person. Words cannot describe what he meant Gracie Fishhawk,” said owner Travis Baumgardner.
He also played in a soccer league in Brandon, where he met and became friends with Mickie Judd.
Judd told 8 On Your Side this is a major loss to the entire community.
“I didn’t just lose a friend, I lost someone in the community I grew up in that was there for everybody. So it’s not just my loss it’s everyone’s loss. The world is not a better place and that makes it a little tougher,” said Mickie Judd, friend of Cpl. LaVigne.
Cpl. Brian LaVigne is survived by his wife and two adult children, one of whom is a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
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