PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Tuesday was an emotional day for Tampa Bay as members of the community joined together to honor and remember fallen Pinellas County Deputy, Michael J. Magli, less than a week after his life was taken by a suspected drunk driver.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri remarked at the ceremony, "This is a day we feared would never come and hoped it never would, as this is our first and hopefully our last line of duty death." It was a day full of tears and touching remarks at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Florida. Sheriff Gualtieri offered, "Mike knew that guy had to be stopped because he was going to seriously hurt or kill someone. Mike parked his car on the median and prepared to deploy stop sticks when the bad guy came barreling down the road and hit him. Mike did everything right."
CW44 News At 10 reported on the tragic death last week when Deputy Magli's life was cut far too short in the line of duty while attempting to stop a suspected drunk driver. On Tuesday, February 23, 2021, he was laid to rest, surrounded by fellow law enforcement officers, friends, family and members of the community.
Deputy Magli's wife, Stephanie, fought back tears to simply offer, "I just love him so much. I wish it was different. Michael's my best friend. He was my partner."
For nearly a week, she bore the dreaded task of preparing the the right sentiments to share regarding her husband. "I tried and I tried, and everything I wrote didn't feel real. It didn't feel like I could convey how I feel." The young deputy leaves behind a wife and their two young daughters. Stephanie added, "He loved our girls, he loved our girls so much."
Fighting through tears and pained pauses, Stephanie mustered, "I love him so much. I don't want to say goodbye. I'm not ready. Eleven years was not long enough."
Deputy Magli's brother remarked at the ceremony, "I know he did a tremendously brave act that saved countless lives. And for that, my family and I are proud of our hero, Deputy Michael James Magli, my big brother."
After seven years with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, a final call to Deputy Magli last Wednesday went unanswered. With a 21-gun salute, a fly over and procession, Deputy Magli and his family, including two young daughters, were honored. He was laid to rest at Trinity Memorial Gardens on Tuesday to be remembered forever.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office created a Deputy Michael J. Magli Memorial Fund. The fund will be open for all donations and will serve as the officially recognized Fund for the Magli family. Those interested in donating are asked to visit any SunTrust banking location to contribute. Checks can also be sent to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Fiscal Division made payable to the Memorial.
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