HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - It was a day of honor and remembrance as 25-year-old Hattiesburg Police officer Liquori Tate was laid to rest.
Patrolman Tate and fellow officer Benjamin Deen were killed on the job. But, the home going service for Tate was not about how he died, instead friends and family and community members focused on how he live.
"Some call this gathering a funeral, but I want to make a correction, this is a celebration," said West Point Baptist Church Marcus Cathey.
West Point Baptist Church in Hattiesburg was packed with law enforcers and dignitaries. Family and friends from across the region praised, prayed and gave thanks for the life of 25-year old police officer Liquori Tate.
"Not only did he live a full life, but he lived a faithful life. Yes it was short, but it was a substantial life," said Pastor College Hill Baptist Church Pastor Michael Williams.
Tate's positive impact was evident as many heartbroken people shed tears in the crowd including his Uncle, who talked about the nephew with a big heart and smile that he called CoCo.
"I am only crying because Coco meant something to me. See Coco was quite, Coco was simple, CoCo was loving," said pastor, and Tate's uncle, Vern Ross.
Tate's love carried over to law enforcement. Friends and family said, since a young boy, Tate wanted to protect and serve others. Last year, the rookie officer fulfilled that childhood dream and wore his police badge proudly until being fatally gunned down during a traffic stop.
"Knowing the risk for his type of work, Liquori never wavered in his decision to put on the uniform daily and drive to a job that required him to put his own life one the line to maintain order, "State Rep. David Myers said.
Robert Magee served on the Hattiesburg police force with Tate and looked at him like a brother. He said, although his comrade is gone, his legacy and courageous spirit will live on.
This is the first time a Hattiesburg police officer has been killed in the line of duty in more than 30 years.