Bruce Ladner was just 33 years old when he was shot and killed in the line of duty. Even at that young age, he was a nine year veteran of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.
Ladner left behind a wife and three children. His two sons, Damon and Brandon were 13 and 11. They told WLOX News in December of 2000 that they were very close to their father, and his death was devastating.
"It's hard to deal with. It changed our life overnight. It's totally put a different outlook on my life," said Damon Ladner.
"I knew my father as a good friend also and it was a stage where I was just starting to become a young man, a young teenager. My brother pretty much took over that role," said Brandon Ladner.
Those who knew Bruce Ladner will long remember the friend and family man they admired so much. His partner, Sgt. Joe Gazzo says he often thinks that what happened to Ladner could have just as easily happened to him or any other trooper. Gazzo says when Ladner died, the community lost a dedicated public servant.
"He was somebody I looked up to. He was a good officer, he done his job good, good to his family, good to his kids. He's just a good man," Gazzo said.