Thousands of mourners gathered at the First Baptist Church of Orlando Saturday to pay their final respects to Orange County Deputy Jonathan Scott Pine.
Investigators said Pine was shot and killed early Tuesday by 28-year-old Benjamin Holtermann, a suspected car burglar. Holtermann was later found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a nearby neighborhood.
Law enforcement officers from across the state lined the entrance of the church, as Deputy Pine's family and closest friends arrived at noon.
Sheriff Jerry Demings escorted Pine's widow, Bridget, into the church for the visitation as Pine's patrol car #1142 sat outside the church with a wreath on its hood.
Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General, Pam Bondi, along with other state and local leaders, attended the service.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings spoke at the service calling Pine a team player who would do anything for his fellow deputies. “He was willing to give his all for his team.”
Deputy Pine, who liked to be called Scott, married his wife Bridget in 2003. The couple has three young children – Haley, Ryker and Maddox.
A letter written by the Pine’s children was read by fellow Deputy Green. “Dear Daddy, we love you very much. You were the best daddy in the whole wide world. We loved wrestling with you, playing games, and riding bikes. Thank you daddy, for letting us has candy. You’re our super hero and we want to be just like you. We love you daddy.”
Pine was born and raised in Louisiana. He graduated with an MBA from Louisiana Tech University, and worked in finance for 10 years, last working as bank manager.
In early 2011, Pine’s passion for helping people led him to become a deputy.
Last month, the 34-year-old was named Orange County Deputy of the Month.
Members of his squad wore an LSU pine, because he was a big fan of their football team.
Following the service the funeral procession made its way to Woodlawn Cemetery travelling down John Young Parkway.
Hundreds of patrol cars from around the state had their lights flashing as they passed by crowds of supporters.
People stood along the route waving flags, covering their hearts and saying prayers for the fallen hero.
“My heart and the heart of my family goes out to them, you can’t put a price to someone’s life especially someone supporting the community and we are just here to support them,” said Retired Connecticut Police Officer Ramon Bermudez.
“There’s so much ill feeling toward police officers and sometimes it’s good to show that we are on their side,” said Rick Hamliton.
Cathy Bononi whose son-in-law was on the same squad as Deputy Pine was very emotional. “We’re here to honor the family and Orange County. We’re just broken hearted. I could have been our son-in-law. But we’re just thankful this young man knew the Lord, and he’s in heaven.”
Memorial fund: How you can donate
If you would like to help Deputy Pine's family, donations can be made to the Deputy Jonathan Scott Pine Memorial Fund at any Orlando Federal Credit Union branch.
The shooting: Sheriff's Office report
According to the Orange County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Pine was investigating a car burglary at the Chatterly Way Apartments, near Apopka-Vineland and Conroy Windermere roads, when he encountered a robbery suspect on Westminster Abbey Boulevard.
Investigators said Pine encountered Benjamin Holtermann, 28, who fled on foot. Pine then chased him through the backyard of a home, where Holtermann shot the deputy three times. Two of the bullets struck Pine's bulletproof vest.
Pine was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he later died.
Deputies also arrested a woman who was with Holtermann. Erica Pugh, 18, confessed to a recent armed robbery of someone from whom the pair were supposed to be purchasing marijuana. She was denied bond on charges of burglary and grand theft.
The following is the initial statement on the shooting from the Orange County Sheriff's Office:
"On the evening of February 11, 2014, Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Scott Pine was working patrol on the midnight shift protecting Orange County's southwestern side as a dedicated community servant; when a radio call of a vehicle burglary was broadcast in the Courtleigh Park subdivision.
Jonathan was aware that a string of similar burglaries had been occurring in the area and responded to assist in any search or apprehension. A little past midnight, Jonathan radioed in to the agency's communications center that he was making an investigatory stop on a suspicious subject. Minutes later the agency received a follow-up radio transmission from Jonathan advising that he was in a foot pursuit of the fleeing suspect, when something went horribly wrong. As he gave chase, the suspect was able to shoot at and strike Jonathan. As deputies arrived, they found Jonathan seriously wounded and rendered aid; as they did so additional gunfire was heard in the vicinity. The suspect was located a few homes away from the murder scene with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A second suspect was located, detained and arrested on felony charges.
Jonathan was rushed to the trauma center, but sadly succumbed to his injuries. This night the Orange County Sheriff's Office and our community lost one of its heroes in the line of duty.
Jonathan leaves behind a loving wife and three young children. For them and their family members the heartache and loss will never fade. As anyone who has lost a loved one to an act of violence knows, the memory of their husbands, sons, and daughters, and the act that took them, will linger forever.
When a law enforcement agency loses one of its own to a senseless and unthinkable act of violence the community those deputies and police officers serve seems to pause for a brief moment and breathe a collective, sad sigh. Some will silently grieve the loss, while others will express open outrage.
There is little we can do but honor and pay a silent tribute to the men and women, we all too often take for granted, whose lives are taken from them while they serve and protect our community."
Statements from local and state leaders
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings
The citizens of Orange County lost a true hero who was tragically killed patrolling the streets of our community. I ask the community for their prayers for our fallen deputy's family which includes a wife and three small children.
Thank you for your continued support as we go through these trying times together.
The Sheriff's Office said Demings was on a flight returning to Orlando in the wake of the shooting.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
I am heartbroken to learn that Deputy Pine was killed in the line of duty. My prayers are with his wife, three children, other family members, and his law enforcement family. He is a true hero who died protecting his community.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
t's simply tragic. It's hard to put into words. To lose any officer, especially a young deputy sheriff with a young family, that is simply tragic. These guys are heroes every day they go to work.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs
Our hearts go out to the family of the fallen deputy, and to the entire Orange County Sheriff's Office. We mourn the loss of this courageous deputy, who gave his life in the line of duty and in the service of Orange County’s citizens.
Our full resources are at the disposal of Sheriff Demings and his department, as well as the family of the slain deputy.
Orlando Police Chief Paul Rooney
Chief Paul Rooney and the entire Orlando Police Department offer their sincere condolences for the Deputy killed in the line of duty overnight. His family, friends, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office are in the thoughts and prayers of every member of OPD.
The men and women in law enforcement risk their lives every day to protect the community they serve and are true heroes. OPD has and will continue to assist and support the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, our law enforcement brothers and sisters, through their time of sacrifice and sorrow.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott
The death of Deputy Jonathan Scott Pine is a solemn reminder of the risks that law enforcement across Florida take to ensure the safety of all Florida citizens. Today, I spoke with Deputy Pine's wife, and expressed our sincere condolences to their family during this difficult time.
The thoughts and prayers of all Floridians remain with the Orange County Sheriff's Office and law enforcement across the state, as we mourn a fallen hero.
Notable officer shootings in Central Florida
March 6, 2012 - Barbara Pill, Brevard County
Brevard County Deputy Barbara Pill was killed after pulling over two suspected thieves in Melbourne. Pill pulled over the suspects along John Rodes Boulevard. They refused to obey her commands and she called for backup, but before additional officers could arrive, deputies heard multiple gunshots over their radios.
December 8, 2010 - Brandon Coates, Orange County
Orange County Deputy Brandon Coates was shot during a traffic stop near 45th Street and Orange Blossom Trail. Coates had been with the Orange County Sheriff's Office for four and a half years before the shooting, and was a member of the Tactical Anti-Crime Unit.
June 3, 2010 - Brandon Worrall, Sanford
Sanford Police Officer Brandon Worrall was shot while responding to a routine trespassing call at Cedar Creek Apartments. 16-year-old Henry Baker fired four shots at Worrall, one of which hit Worrall in his side. Two others missed, and the fourth struck Worrall in his bulletproof vest.
July 15, 2009 - Vann Streety, Florida Fish & Wildlife
Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer Vann Streety pulled over 25-year-old Christopher Eddy in a remote area of Cocoa. When Eddy pulled over, he opened fire on Streety. Eddy was sentenced to five life sentences for the shooting. Streety was shot six times by Eddy.
March 25, 2009 - Sherif el-Shami, Orange City
Orange City Police Officer Sherif el-Shami responded to an East University Avenue home and was shot at multiple times by Brayn Langford, a self-styled survivalist. Langford was then found dead inside the home, along with his girlfriend. El-Shami lost his left eye in the attack; he is now a detective for the Orange City Police Department.
October 4, 2007 - Alfred Gordon Sr., Orlando
Orlando Police Officer Alfred Gordon Sr. was making an ATM transaction around 1:00am at Hiawassee and Silver Star Road when he became the victim of a robbery. Gordon Sr. was on his way home from work and was not on duty at the time of the shooting. Suspects Davin Smith and Hugo Terry were found guilty; both received life sentences.
October 10, 2005 - Adam Pierce, Orange County
Orange County Deputy Adam Pierce was shot after stopping a man on a bike in the Holden Heights area. The man, Jeffrey Forbes, was tasered but then was able to roll away, pull out a gun, and shoot Pierce twice. As a result of the shooting, Pierce was paralyzed from the waist down. Forbes was sentenced to life for the shooting.
April 14, 2005 - Jonathan Butcher, Belleview
Belleview Police Officer Jonathan Butcher was shot inside a Kash-n-Karry on South U.S. Highway 301 by 56-year-old Robert Teti. Butcher was in the process of putting handcuffs on Teti for disorderly conduct when Teti opened fire. Teti also shot and killed the manager of the store. Butcher says that his bulletproof vest saved his life.
February 9, 2005 - Wayne Koester, Lake County
Lake County Deputy Wayne Koester was killed in an ambush while responding to a domestic violence call. Koester, along with deputies Tom McKane and Bill Crotty, were shot by Jason Wheeler as they approached Wheeler's home in Paisley. Documents later revealed Wheeler wanted to "go out in a blaze of glory." Wheeler was sentenced to death for the shooting.
February 7. 2004 - Brian Litz, Marion County
Marion County Deputy Brian Litz was shot and killed while responding to a well-being check. 74-year-old Ivan Gotham exchanged gunfire with Litz in a senior adult community on S. W. 104th Place. Gotham died at the scene in a gunfight with responding law enforcement. Litz had been a K-9 Deputy with Marion County.
February 3, 2000 - George DeSalvia, Orlando
Orlando Police Officers George DeSalvia and Eddie Diaz were making a routine traffic stop when they were shot by Emmanuel St. Nattis. DeSalvia died from his wounds; Diaz was injured. St. Nattis was sentenced to life without parole for the shooting.
July 8, 1998 - Eugene Gregory, Seminole County
Seminole County Deputy Eugene Gregory was responding to a landlord-tenant dispute. Geneva resident Alan Singletary, who had a history of mental illness, opened fire on Gregory, killing him. SWAT teams returned fire and killed Singletary. Gregory was nicknamed "Stetson" and "Cowboy" because local residents said he was always wearing his deputy's hat.