PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Hundreds of law enforcement officers came out on Tuesday to pay their final respects to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Magli.
Magli was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday, Feb. 17 by a suspected drunk driver. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says Deputy Magli is the first deputy to be killed in the line of duty in the agency’s 109-year history.
“He was there doing what every good cop does, protecting others,” Sheriff Gualtieri said.
In an emotional ceremony, Sheriff Gualtieri remembered the fallen deputy as a hero.
“He knew that guy had to be stopped and he acted,” the sheriff said.
Deputy Michael Magli’s wife tearfully recalled how much he meant to her, their two young children and others.
“Michael is my best friend. He was my partner,” Stephanie Magli said. “His soul was good and everybody who knew him knew that.”
Friends remembered him as a person dedicated to his family and his job.
“Michael is a literal hero in every sense of the word,” long-time friend Deputy Nick Hunter said.
After the service, rows of motorcycle officers formed a procession. Helicopters from several agencies flew over the church in formation and officers stood at attention as a final radio call was broadcast to mark the end of Deputy Magli’s career and his life.