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Respects Paid, Memories Shared At Funeral Of Fallen W.Va. Deputy Sheriff

baker funeral.jpg
Randy Yohe
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Deputy Baker's funeral was held at the Summersville Arena and Conference Center.

Nicholas County Deputy Sheriff Tom Baker was laid to rest Wednesday.

Mourners came from near and far to pay their respects to a law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty.

Last Friday night, Baker and Corporal J. Ellison responded to a domestic disturbance. Baker was shot and killed, Ellison was wounded. One of the assailants was also killed, a second is jailed and charged with murder.underearrest fo murder.

As deputy fire chief with the Summersville Fire Department, Brian Bell worked fires, accidents and disturbances side by side with Baker. As he helped organize the honors at the Summersville Arena and Convention Center funeral site, Bell said his friend Tom was a great guy with the badge on or off, a man who gave his all for his community.

“Anytime I've seen him out on a car accident or anything, he was smiling and doing this job while being respectful to people,” Bell said. “He took it seriously, but he showed a lot of respect to people that were in need.”

Connections can be distant but compelling. Sgt. Julian Hinton traveled from Chesterfield County, Virginia. Hinton said a close friend of the men and women in his department is the brother of a Nicholas County deputy who was involved in the disturbance that left Deputy Tom Baker dead. Hinton said, as a fellow officer, he was compelled to pay his respects.

“It's something that is a bond in the law enforcement community that we show respect since it was the ultimate sacrifice,” Hinton said. “Personally, I've been a member of the Honor Guard for several years. It's just something that is in the heart.”

Jefferson County Sheriff Tom Hansen traveled from the Eastern Panhandle. He came to pay respects to a fellow officer and help send a message.

“I've been in law enforcement for over 35 years. I've been to too many funerals,” Hansen said. “My men, and every other law enforcement officer, go out every day to protect and serve whatever community, county, state they work, and they are not the enemy.”

Hansen said it’s all about mutual respect and honoring one who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Government Reporter, ryohe@wvpublic.org, 304-634-8123

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