Hundreds gather to pay their respects to fallen officer Corporal - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Hundreds gather to pay their respects to fallen officer Corporal Keith Slay

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A Columbus police officer who lost his life in the line of duty is laid to rest after 32 years of service on ground and in the air.

Hundreds gathered at Cascade Hills Church to pay their respects to the late Corporal Keith Slay Monday morning.

Columbus police Corporal Slay was known as a jokester that loved God and his family.

According to those that were close to Officer Slay, he died fulfilling a promise he made many years ago, to protect and serve.

Through music, prayer, and tears by the hundreds a community comes together to honor one of Columbus' fallen heroes.

"This is no ordinary day that special agent Keith Slay is laid to rest," said RiverTown Church Reverand David Rathel.

Corporal Keith Slay lost his life Tuesday afternoon after crashing his truck during a high speed chase down Veterans Parkway. 

"His truck had an extremely large steel bumper on the front. He could've gone through anything. When the car pulled out in front of him, ladies and gentlemen, my friend Keith chose to swerve," Rev. Rathel said.

Corporal Slay died from his injuries at the Medical Center. His son Jeffery Slay proclaimed he would always remember his father as loyal and a protector.

"Dad was a lot of things to a lot of people. He was a law enforcement officer, a baseball coach, and a karate teacher. He was a little bit of everything but one of his favorite roles was a practical jokester," said Jeffery Slay.

With a plastic snake his father loved to scare people with inside his jacket, Jeffery Slay remembered the man his father was. 

"That man would do anything you needed him to do at anytime. He'd be in the middle of cutting the grass, walking a tight rope, and doing ten other things," Jeffery Slay said.

Almost a week after his death, the family said they would trust in God's plan.

"[God has] been so great to us and my family. I want to thank everyone here for being so supportive. I couldn't have done it without you all. My dad will miss every one of you all. Thank you all. I'll never forget my dad," said Jeffery Slay.

Reverend David Rathel said Cpl. Slay's last words to his wife Holly were ‘there's one more bad guy I got to get'.

Slay is reported to have single handedly brought aviation to the surrounding metro area.

Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolly said he'll never forget how Cpl. Slay was always willing to fly to Harris County to help find missing people.

Slay leaves behind a wife, son, and step-daughter. He was 53 years old. According to Columbus investigators, the suspects he was chasing have not been captured.

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