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Fallen Highlands County deputy's body escorted to Tampa

Posted at 6:32 AM, May 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-09 07:58:37-04

The body of Fallen Deputy William Gentry has been transferred to Tampa to complete the organ donation process.

Wednesday morning, a procession for Gentry left Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers at around 1 AM. Several sheriff vehicles, motorcycles, ambulances and fire trucks were part of the procession.

Before it started, dozens of people gathered outside the hospital including family, friends, and fellow deputies.

Earlier this week, veteran Deputy Gentry was killed in the line of duty. The sheriff's office says he was responding to a neighbor dispute when the suspect, 69-year-old Joseph Ables, shot Gentry in the head. 

A few hours after Gentry was airlifted to Lee Memorial Monday morning, a man stood outside holding a black and blue American flag in one hand and a candle in the other.

FOX 4 captured photos of him. Another similar photo is circling on Facebook. FOX 4 spoke to the man and he said he was paying his respects.

Photos: Deputy Gentry is escorted to Tampa

Deputy Gentry passed away due to his injuries Monday afternoon.

Over the past few days, there has been an outpouring of support for the fallen deputy.

A candlelight vigil will be held at Firemens FIeld at 681 Magnolia Avenue in Sebring. It starts at 8 pm Wednesday, May 9. A memorial service will be held at the Highlands New Sun Center at 781 Magnolia Avenue. It starts at 11:00 am Tuesday, May 15. Hundreds of law enforcement officers across the state and country are expected to be at the memorial.

If you would like to attend, both the memorial service and candlelight vigil are open to the public.