VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Daytona Beach police officer who was shot in the line of duty and died this week was laid to rest Monday in a moving tribute that took place across Volusia County.
Officer Jason Raynor, 26, Aug. 17 after two months in critical condition at Halifax Health in Volusia County. He was shot in the head on June 23 while investigating a suspicious vehicle.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attended Raynor’s funeral Monday morning, which was not open to the public, at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.
A 21-gun salute (see video below) was held at the end of the ceremony and law enforcement helicopters flew over the memorial. Hundreds of law enforcement and EMS workers from around the country took part in the final salute to their fallen brother.
The Daytona Beach Police Department gathered private video messages for Raynor’s family, which was one of several ways the community honored the fallen officer.
Dispatchers issues an end of watch call for Raynor.
“No other boots on the ground can take your place. Rest easy. We have it from here,” the dispatcher said.
After the private funeral community members were invited to participate in the procession as Raynor was transported to his final resting place. It was mostly silent along the normally bustling road, only the sounds of the law enforcement motorcade breaking through the somber moment.
Supporters lined International Speedway Boulevard holding black and blue flags to honor his legacy as police and deputies road by escorting the white hearse. People could be heard saying, “thank you” as Raynor was escorted throughout the city.
Sharon Lewis was among those who came out to support the fallen officer.
“All we can do is say God bless you, Raynor, you’re with God, we’ll watch over the family and continue to pray as our community heals from this tragic, tragic matter,” Lewis said. “And we shall continue to keep you all in our prayers and on our prayer list, God bless each and every one of you every day as you go out to protect our community. May you go in peace and know that God is taking care of you all. God bless.”
Chantello Bravo said she and her family have been following Raynor’s story since he was critically injured in June, attending the prayer vigils and other events to support the men and women in blue.
“So we just want them to know they’re not forgotten, they’ll never be forgotten, Officer Raynor will always be with us,” Bravo said.
The passing of Raynor, who was 26 years old, is something that should resonate with everyone, according to Bravo.
“And if you have any kind of emotion whatsoever, I don’t care if you have family or friends with law enforcement or not, if this doesn’t affect you emotionally and realize how precious and valuable our life is because tomorrow is not guaranteed to anybody, then I don’t know what to say,” Bravo said.
Monday’s events marked a week of mourning for the city of Daytona Beach.
On the night of his passing, law enforcement officers led a processional from the hospital to the funeral home. On Thursday, Raynor’s patrol car was moved to the police department, where hundreds attended a wreath-laying ceremony. The vehicle was the same car he was driving the night he was shot, according to Daytona Beach police.
Police officials said the car will remain outside the Valor Boulevard headquarters building, where the public can leave messages or items at Raynor’s memorial. The tribute continued to grow on the day of Raynor’s memorial.
Raynor’s accused killer, Othal Wallace, was arrested 56 hours after the shooting near Atlanta following a multi-state manhunt.
Wallace remains jailed in Volusia County on an upgraded charge of first-degree murder. Previously, he pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree murder. He appeared before a judge Wednesday on the new charge and his next court date has not been set.
Here's how Officer Jason Raynor's memorial outside our Valor Boulevard headquarters looks like this morning.— Daytona Beach Police (@DaytonaBchPD) August 22, 2021
If you want to leave any messages or items, you'll be able to do that today and tomorrow.#DaytonaStrong #RaynorStrong #DBPDStrong #3Charlie77 #DaytonaBeach #BackTheBlue pic.twitter.com/AN249yzY66
Watch more scenes from the memorial below.