|Birth: ||Apr. 6, 1969|
|Death: ||Apr. 29, 2008|
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LINDEN — Law enforcement officers from Texas and across the country bade farewell to a fallen comrade Saturday afternoon at the First Baptist Church of Linden before a standing-room only service.
The funeral for DPS Trooper James Scott Burns was followed by burial at Shiloh Cemetery. Burns was killed in the line of duty Tuesday night, reportedly killed during a traffic stop near Kellyville in Marion County.
More than 1,000 people, including several hundred law enforcement officers from dozens of jurisdictions, attended the funeral. While there was standing room only in the sanctuary and the church's fellowship hall, additional mourners stood outside the building.
"We're very grateful that so many people chose to come and pay their respects," said Tela Mange, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. "That this community is offering so much support, and that officers have come from across the country, means a lot to the DPS and to his family."
The Rev. Jackie Stanfield officiated. Before the services, a slide show highlighting different aspects of Burns life was shown on the church's large video screens, including pictures of him touching the belly of his pregnant wife and holding his infant daughter.
"We're here to honor a genuine hero, James Scott Burns," Stanfield said. "We pray for our soldiers in faraway lands, as we should. However, it's equally important to remember in our prayers the brave law enforcement officers like Scott who put their lives on the line to keep us safe in our own homes."
Stanfield quoted from the Book of John, chapter 15 and from Psalm 23.
"We need to remember that he wasn't alone in that patrol car on Tuesday night," Stanfield said. "Jesus was with him then, and now he's gone home to be with the Lord. We miss him and grieve for him, but he's in paradise."
DPS troopers had stationed an honor guard next to the Texas flag-draped coffin before the service. Afterwards, officers from the DPS and other law enforcement agencies slowly walked by the casket with their hats held over their hearts.
Burns was highly respected and well-liked within law enforcement and the Linden community, said Stephen Foster, state representative for the district that includes Cass County.
"I'll miss him not just as an officer, but as a friend," Foster said.
Officers from a variety of agencies formed an honor guard at the cemetery as DPS officers, carrying Burns' hat and boots, walked in front of the coffin.
D.J. Geltz with the Washington State Police said traveling across the country to pay respects to a fallen officer was well worth the journey.
"We're all part of the same brotherhood," Geltz said.
The man suspected of killing Burns shot himself Thursday. A woman who has been identified as the girlfriend of suspected killer Brandon Wayne Robertson is in custody, described by law enforcement officers as a suspected accomplice in the case.
Burns is survived by his wife, Michaela; infant daughter, Micah; parents, Ronnie and Judy; two brothers and sisters-in-law; a grandfather and several other relatives.
Ronald Lynn Burns (1947 - 2012)
Created by: EastTexan
Record added: May 08, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26689028