COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — The western Iowa sheriff’s deputy who authorities say was killed by an inmate during a jail escape was remembered Monday for the way he treated everyone with respect.
More than 1,000 people — most of them law enforcement officers from various agencies — gathered at an arena in Council Bluffs to honor Pottawattamie County Deputy Mark Burbridge. Burbridge was fatally wounded last Monday when an inmate returning from court grabbed a gun and shot Burbridge and another deputy, officials said. He was captured after a police chase in nearby Omaha, Nebraska.
Burbridge’s three children shared memories of the 43-year-old and his regular trips to auto parts stores because he loved fixing anything with a motor, especially if it was a classic car.
Stepdaughter Kelsey Brant said she didn’t mind those trips to parts stores because it meant she got to spend time with him.
“He was your hero when he was wearing that badge and uniform, but he was our hero every day,” Brant said.
Daughter Karley Burbridge said her dad was her hero not just for his work protecting the community but also for protecting her from the monsters under her bed. And she gave a hard time about his unfinished projects.
“He liked rock music and starting projects — emphasis on starting,” Karley Burbridge said.
Pastor Michael Harvey told stories about the time Burbridge added hot sauce to his partner’s ketchup and how he loved to joke around with kids, but he said Burbridge always approached his job seriously and with caring.
“He was compassionate. He was respectful of everyone,” Harvey said.
At the funeral Burbridge’s casket was escorted by six pallbearers in uniform and a full honor guard. When his body left the arena, the casket was wheeled out between two rows of American flags held by Patriot Guard motorcycle riders while hundreds of officers stood saluting.
Burbridge had worked as an officer for the past 17 years, including the last 12 for the sheriff’s department. Last Monday, he and Deputy Pat Morgan were returning 24-year-old Wesley Correa-Carmenaty and another inmate to jail after court hearings.
Authorities say Correa-Carmenaty shot both deputies and stole a jail van to escape. Then he shot another motorist in a failed attempt to steal a truck before ditching the van and carjacking a woman before fleeing to Omaha.
He faces charges of murder, attempted murder and other charges related to the escape. Correa-Carmenaty has agreed to be transferred back to Iowa to face those charges, but authorities planned to wait until after Burbridge’s funeral to return him to court.
Before his escape, Correa-Carmenaty had been sentenced to 45 years in prison for his role in a botched 2016 robbery that led to the death of 22-year-old Anthony Walker.
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