Local Officers Remember Fallen Deputy

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

August 18, 2006

Corporal Eric Sutphin of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department was fatally shot around 7 a.m Monday morning near the Virginia Tech campus.

Sutphin started his career at the Charlottesville Police Department, followed by the Albemarle County Police Department as well as the Fluvanna County Sheriff's Department before becoming a deputy in Montgomery County.

On Monday night, his fellow officers felt a great loss and remembered a great man.

“We shared a lot of laughs together and it just really hasn't settled in yet that he's really gone,” said Charlottesville Police Sgt. Paul Davis.

This fallen officer dedicated his life to police work starting, his career in Charlottesville in 1992.

“There's several people around the building who are saddened by this who knew Eric. [They] had a chance to work with him for a brief time and knew him to be a fine gentleman and a good police officer,” commented Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.

After two years on the force he made the jump to Albemarle County.

“Eric was just a true gentleman. A great friend. A great policeman,” said friend and fellow officer Albemarle County Sgt. Mike Wagner.

Working in various positions at ACPD, his fellow officers remember his countless acts of bravery, including taking down a violent rape suspect.

“The guy was a vicious vicious person and Eric was able to apprehend him without anybody being seriously injured. So, [his death is] pretty devastating actually,” Albemarle County police Lt. John Teixeira said, holding back tears.

Sutphin is survived by his wife and twin daughters.

“He had two twin girls and I have two twin boys so...there's a sense of sorrow within myself because I can only imagine that loss,” said Fluvanna County Sheriff Ryant Washington

Sutphin worked with Sheriff Washington in Fluvanna County for a short time before signing on with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department. After 13 years of dedicated service, officers across the Virginia are remembering their friend.

“It’s truly just a great loss to the Commonwealth of Virginia and to all the law enforcement professionals that knew him. He was a great man,” said Wagner.

On the Officer Down Memorial website a fellow officer wrote this:
“Rest in peace brother, you will truly be missed. Thank you for your dedication, service and sacrifice. You are a true hero. Now its time for you to patrol the streets in heaven where true heroes like yourself go.”

No funeral arrangements have been made yet but officers from all three local departments say they will be attending the services.

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