MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Hundreds of people here in Batesville and around the area showed up to pay their respects to a man who was beloved by almost everyone. Constable Raye Hawkins visitation here at First Baptist church.
“Fine fine Christian man. Very dedicated to Panola County worked hard lived a good life . Raised a fine son who is on the Batesville police department. You couldn’t ask for a better person. He’s going to be greatly missed and it is just heartbreaking," is how Batesville resident Wanda Carmichael describes Constable Hawkins.
Carmichael reflects what people here at the visitation feel about the sudden and horrifying death of Constable Hawkins. He died when a stolen pickup crashed into his vehicle. His son was the first police officer on the scene. The vehicle had a 15 and 16 year old inside. It was being pursued by officers from a nearby city. Hawkins was responding as well. The teens, who were not injured are charged with murder. Officers know the risk of their job.
“It’s unfortunate. In our line of work we know that these things unfortunately happen from time to time. But we are a brotherhood. It does not matter what uniform you are wearing whether it is brown or blue. We are brothers. We are going to be here for our brothers and sisters when these things happen," said Marvin Baird with the Mississippi Highway patrol says knowing that does not make it any easier.
At 9:00 a sea of blue escorted the vehicle carrying Constable Raye Hawkins to the funeral home.
Law enforcement officers here at the visitation tell me many more officers are expected to show up at Raye Hawkins funeral Wednesday. Many of them from across the country.