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Hundreds Attend Holly Springs Officer Joe Burson's Funeral

WOODSTOCK, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- Family, friends and police gathered Monday afternoon to say goodbye to Holly Springs Police Officer Joe Burson, 24, who was killed in the line of duty.

Hundreds of people came to First Baptist Church in Woodstock to bid farewell at his funeral. Motorcades from several agencies, including the Atlanta Police Department, came to pay their respects. "We're glad to be here just for that cause, and our prayers and thoughts are to the family," said Atlanta Police Sergeant Tez Peavy. Burson died last Wednesday night when he was dragged by a vehicle, as a suspect, Ansy Dolce, 29, tried getting away during a traffic stop. Burson shot and killed Dolce during the incident.

A friend joined his wife Marykate Burson onstage to speak on her behalf, reading a letter Burson wrote to her husband. "Babe, you were so brave. You died doing what you loved," her friend read. His brother, John Thomas Burson, performed a selection on trumpet to honor him. "Music was something that brought us together better than anything else, other than God," he said.

Longtime friend Anna Streeter reflected on Burson's character with a little humor. "He was like, 'if comfort food was a person,' without all of the calories," she said. "Joe was such a goofy guy. He had such a great personality and such a great sense of humor," said Michael Marrone. He was among a group of friends gathered at a makeshift memorial outside the church surrounding Burson's police vehicle. Long after their good friend is laid to rest, they'll keep his memory alive. "One of his best redeeming qualities was how he took the bad and made it into good," Marrone said.

They say it's how he would want them to honor his legacy, by cherishing the memories and focusing on the good times.

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