Deputy's death 'ripped a gaping hole in our lives,' family says
YELM, Wash. -- The family of a slain Pierce County Deputy Daniel McCartney is experiencing almost unbearable grief but is gratified by the love and support it has received.
Kory Honea, the uncle of McCartney's widow, appeared before the media in Yelm, where the deputy lived with his wife and their three sons.
"Losing Daniel ripped a gaping hole in our lives," said Honea, reading a statement on behalf of the deputy's wife. Cierra, and her sons. "And we will never be the same."
"In addition to protecting our community, Daniel was a godly man, loving husband, devoted father and a loyal friend to so many. The grief we are experiencing is almost unbearable."
Honea said the family has been overwhelmed by the support it has received from the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, other law enforcement and the community.
"We are humbled by the outpouring of love and support for Cierra and the boys and for Dan's boys," said Honea, who has long been in law enforcement himself and is sheriff of Butte County, California.
He urged people to hold the deputy's family, as well as the men and women of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, in their prayers.
Honea said the public can help the family by donating to a fund that has been set up. Donations can be made at TwinStar Credit Union and Tapco Credit Union. Donations can also be made online at the Crimestoppers site for Tacoma and Pierce County.
He said Cierra McCartney will ultimately see the cards and flowers that citizens have left at a Sheriff's Department substation. As time passes, those gestures "will mean a great deal to her."
"Daniel gave his life protecting this community. I hope would people will remember that," Honea said.
He suggested that people treat law enforcement officers with respect as a way to honor McCartney and his family.
He described Cierra as a "rock" for her boys. He said he wasn't sure that the boys, ages 4, 6 and 9, fully grasped the finality of what happened to their father.