Remembering Officer Bolton: Visitation, Sea of Blue - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Remembering Officer Bolton: Visitation, Sea of Blue

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Thousands of people paid their respects to Memphis Police Department Officer Sean Bolton on Wednesday night at his visitation and Sea of Blue. 

Officer Bolton was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Memphis on Saturday. 

"What I saw that night was when they start doing the CPR on him," said Carla Ross, who heard the shooting. "I had just got out the shower when I heard the shots."

Outside of Bolton's visitation, firefighters raised their ladders and performed a ceremonial flag hanging in his honor.

"Sean served our city and he served our country and you know, I think that everybody in the city owes him respect to stand out here and honor his memory for the sacrifice he made for everybody," said Heather Phiel, whose husband worked with Officer Bolton.

Thousands came together Wednesday to show their support for the man killed in the line of duty.

"We actually feel sad, because my mom, she actually knew the officer," Jesus Navarrete said. "Three days before the accident."

Memphis Police Department arranged a Sea of Blue starting after the visitation at 8:15 p.m.  The Patriot Guard Riders followed along, showing their support.

"Show them that what they have done for us is not forgotten," Patriot Guard Rider Matthew Stroud said.

The Sea of Blue started on Walnut Grove Road, then headed north on I-240, went around the loop, exited on Mt. Moriah, and ended after passing the complex where Officer Bolton was shot and killed. Click here to see the route Sea of Blue took.

Supporters held signs along the path on sidewalks to show their respect for Officer Bolton.  Many lined Walnut Grove in awe as the overwhelming line of patrol cars passed.  It took more than 40 minutes for the entire procession to pass in front of Christian Brothers High School.  People watching only had one thing to say: "Thank you."

Law enforcement officers from as far as Cincinnati drove with MPD officers in the Sea of Blue.

"He should be honored with the utmost respect by him being an officer," Ross added. "He was out to serve and protect. And not knowing that was going to be his last day on this earth."

The funeral service for Officer Bolton will be held on Thursday at Bellevue Baptist Church. 

After the funeral, there will be a procession to take the fallen officer to his final resting place: West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on Forest Hill Irene Road.

Officer Bolton's family released a statement saying he lived a life defined by duty.

"Sean loved being a Memphis cop.  While he had offers to leave the police force and do other types of law enforcement, he loved being on the streets of his hometown.  Sean genuinely wanted to help all Memphians to live safely and peaceably within our community.  Sean’s concern, his only concern, was not the color of the skin of the person he was dealing with but rather whether or not they were committing a crime.  When others ran away, Sean was the first to run towards danger, regardless of his personal safety."

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