INDEPENDENCE TWP., Mich. (WJBK) - An Oakland County Sheriff's Deputy murdered on Thanksgiving morning - and now family, friends and the community he served are honoring his life and legacy.
Prosecutors say a 22-year-old man intentionally ran over Deputy Eric Overall during a police chase. Overall was law enforcement and so much more - a husband, a father, a school resource officer and it is clear by the turnout at his visitation, he meant so much to so many.
Overall's flag covered casket was carried Monday morning by his colleagues, his friends in uniform for decades, delivering his body to Mount Zion Church for final good-byes. Loved ones are leaning on each other for strength in this time of tragedy.
"It is very somber," Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. "It is always tough to lose somebody in the line of duty. It is especially magnified when somebody has such a great heart, and a great reputation and a great spirit, if you will. He always had a smile."
So many paid their respects Monday after the chase early Thanksgiving morning that led to Overall's death. Investigators say he had just placed stop sticks in the road way and was off to the side when 22-year-old Christopher Berak deliberately ran him down.
Berak's defense attorney says Berak is mentally ill. Police say that Berak claimed he was God.
"I feel a little bit robbed," said Sonja Overall, Eric's widow. "We were supposed to have a life together. A long life, we were kind of robbed short of that."
Sonja Overall spoke with FOX 2 Sunday night. She and her husband had been together for seven years but just got married in June.
"It's not just me that has to deal with this tragedy," she said. "There are so many people that loved him, respected him."
Eric Overall was a 50-year-old guy who loved playing the guitar, fishing in Florida, his cat Siggy and his two sons Ken and Cameron. The youngest lost to suicide in 2014.
"He didn't want any other families to have to go through that tragedy," Sonja said. "His thing was 'Never quit.'"
Never quit was his motto on his Facebook page and his message to students he mentored in schools. The legacy he leaves behind.
"My husband was amazing," she said. "Courageous and the fact that he was an officer and has given his life doing what he liked to do."
Sonja said her husband's love and kindness will be missed by so many but she finds solace in where she believes he is now.
"I am taking comfort knowing that my husband is with his son right now," she said. "He is with Cameron."
Visitation takes place until 8 p.m. at Mount Zion Church on Maybee Road in Independence Township. The funeral will be there Tuesday at 11 a.m.
It is expected that law enforcement throughout the state and across the country will be in attendance.