Fellow officers say goodbye to Deputy Pursifull and King

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

Pineville, Bell County (WVLT) -- They served together, they died together and now they will rest together.

Bell County Sheriff's Deputy Sean Pursifull and his canine partner, King were laid to rest this afternoon.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the nation journeyed to the Bell County High School gym to honor their fallen brother.

"It's extremely tough," said Adam Stephens from the Knox County Police Department. "You never want to see anyone have to give their lives for anything."

On Sunday afternoon, the gym was a sanctuary for Deputy Sean Pursifull.

Lying feet away was his faithful K-9 partner, King.

"They become as much of our family as our children," said Stephens.

The two worked together and died together when police say a pair of teens rammed Pursifull's parked cruiser during a high speed chase.

For their funeral, 1,100 aching hearts filled the Kentucky.

"It's just a sad day," said Sgt. Robert Chadwell from the Claiborne County Sheriff's department, who knew Pursifull for nearly a decade. "He was a fine officer, had a fine family and my heart goes out to them."

Eight canine handlers from the Knoxville Police Department made the trip.

Though they and Pursifull were strangers in life, they were brothers in the line of duty.

"We might all work in different areas and our uniforms look a little different, but in the end, we all took the same oath," said Stephens.

After the funeral, Deputy Pursifull and King were taken to the Fuson Family Cemetery, where they were buried side by side.

K-9 deputies from the Knox County Sheriff's department carried King's casket.

"It's as close as having your best friend ride with you all the time," said Sgt. Chadwell.

The partners in life and the line of duty now live on together forever.

University of Tennessee Police Officers also attended today's funeral.

The two teenagers whom police say killed Deputy Pursifull and King both face murder charges.

The 16 and 17-year-old were also charged with assault on a service animal.


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