TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) – Members of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office honored the deputy who was killed Wednesday night during a chase.
A group of law enforcement officers, family, and friends of 30-year-old Deputy Michael Magli gathered Saturday night at Brooker Creek Elementary School in Tarpon Springs to pay their respects to the fallen officer.
“Not only was he a deputy of the community, he was a friend. He was a savior. He sacrificed his life for others. This could’ve turned out a lot worse than it was. Someone else could’ve got hurt,” said Veronica Condren, the organizer of the vigil.
She works at the community YMCA, which is where she met Deputy Magli.
Deputies say Magli was helping officers chase a drunk driver, 33-year-old Robert Holzaebfel, near East Lake and Forelock Road when he was hit and killed after stopping in the median of the road to deploy stop sticks.
“Many people could’ve been killed. Many people could’ve been hurt. Drunk driving is unacceptable. There’s no excuse for this. It was 4:25 in the afternoon and it makes me sick to know this actually happened,” Condren said.
“To say it’s a tragedy is an understatement. There’s no words to make any sense of it. There’s nothing you can express. Their life is forever changed and it could never be the same,” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
Magli is the first deputy from PCSO to be killed in the line of duty.