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VSP Trooper Lucas Dowell celebrated in hometown memorial service

The funeral service was set for a hero for fallen Virginia State Trooper Lucas Dowell. (L. Owens, WCYB)

A Virginia State trooper was laid to rest today among thousands of law enforcement officers from across the nation. Chilhowie native Lucas Dowell was killed in the line of duty on Monday during a shootout with a suspect in Campbell County.

The funeral service was set for a hero for fallen Virginia State Trooper Lucas Dowell.

"It's not how these officers died that made them heroes. It's how they lived," Virginia State Police Superintendent Colonel Gary Settle said.

Law enforcement agencies representing almost every state in the nation attended to show their support for the family of the 28-year-old Chilhowie native.

Settle said, "Lucas could always be counted on to defend the weak over the strong and what was right."

Dowell's sister, Erica, reminded us of the man behind the badge, a compassionate and trusted friend. She recalled a story of the two talking after the funeral of close friend Will Walker. "Lucas said I want to do a better job of making the people I love know and feel how much I loved them."

His supervisors shared stories of a trooper dedicated to his work who found his calling with the Virginia State Police, a teammate who lightened the mood in stressful situations.

Sgt Matthew Riley was Dowell's first tactical team leader. He told the crowd about Dowell's initial team interview.

"He kind of interrupted me and leaned forward. He smiled, squinted his eyes and said, 'Look, let's get down to the heart of this thing. Do I get to drive a tank?' Riley said. "I said, no, you don't get to drive a tank. You do get to drive a bearcat if you're lucky. He stood up, twirled his fingers, and said that's good enough for me."

The Virginia State Police trooper died in the line of duty February 4, but will be remembered in the hearts of lives of this small community forever.

"He was on the scene because he was committed to a cause and that entailed the possibility of having to give his life, and he did," Pastor Bobby Dunn said.

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