(WJBK) - A vigil honoring the life of Oakland County Sheriff Deputy Eric Overall brought 150 people together Thanksgiving night.
Overall was a beloved 22-year veteran of the sheriff's office, described as a special man who impacted so many lives.
"I looked at my phone and it popped up on Facebook," said Renee Sweeney. "It was his face, and literally, it took my breath away when I saw it. It is still upsetting.
"To have that contact with a person and know what a good individual he was - and to find out how he died."
Sweeney ran into Overall at least once a week for almost eight years at Walmart in Commerce Township.
"When we did 'Shop with a Cop' at Walmart he was there," she said. "And I think he enjoyed it almost as much as the kids did - going and picking out the toys. Like, 'Who's this for, are you going to get a bike today, let's get you a helmet.' It was all about the kids."
The Oakland County Deputy is being remembered as much for his professionalism, as for his heart.
Deputy Overall was killed early Thanksgiving morning at 12:30 a.m. at M-15 and Seymour Lake Road in Brandon Township. He was putting out stop sticks to catch a suspect who made threats at the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department.
The police pursuit was to pick up in Oakland County. Once Overall was struck and killed, the suspect flipped his car and he was caught.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard and his fellow officers were at the vigil last night.
"He was just always even-keel," said Michelle Miller, of the Oakland County Sheriff's Office. "The most compassionate, greatest, honorable, most integrity driven man you'll know."
Sweeney said that Overall also made an impact at Walled Lake Schools by helping save kids that were going down the wrong path. He did it by going beyond the badge and using his heart, believing anyone can improve.
"They were saying their kids wouldn't be here, their kids would not be as productive as they are now if (Deputy) Overall had not stepped in," Sweeney said. "His unique style of taking care of them (meant) no child was ever a throw-away to him, ever."
He leaves behind a wife and adult son. If you would like to donate to help Overall's family, go to https://www.gofundme.com/in-memory-of-deputy-eric-overall