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MANISTEE, Mich. (WLNS) -- The gym at Manistee High School was overflowing Saturday, as more than 1,000 people said their goodbyes to Trooper Paul Butterfield.
To his family and friends, Trooper Butterfield will be remembered as an animal lover, a phenomenal athlete and nothing short of a true hero.
Trooper Butterfield was killed the night of Sept. 9, after a man shot him in the head during a traffic stop in west Michigan.
"This was a senseless and terrible act that you can't use logic or any rational thought to explain what happened," said Governor Rick Snyder.
Governor Snyder spoke about the tragedy, but the main focus of the service wasn't about Trooper Butterfield's death, rather his wonderful 43 years of life.
"God didn't create us to be cowards. He created us to be bold, to be brave and to use the talents and the abilities God has given us to the best of our abilities. Paul certainly fulfilled those expectations," said Rev. Joel Ehlert of St. John's Evangelical Church.
Those who knew him said Trooper Butterfield displayed that courage his entire life. He was an army veteran who followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a second generation Michigan State Police member, where he served for 14 years.
"He was an outstanding trooper, dedicated to his job, dedicated to helping people, dedicated to doing what's right and Paul did everything right on the night of Sept. 9," said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, the Director of Michigan State Police.
Trooper Butterfield leaves behind many loved ones, including a fiancee and his mom and dad. He also leaves behind his family at the Michigan State Police.
As the funeral procession gathered, the sun continued shining, and Trooper Butterfield's family now believes he protects from above.
Saturday a candlelight vigil was also held in Ludington's Waterfront Park to honor Trooper Butterfield. His name will also eventually be added to the Michigan State Police Fallen Trooper Memorial, in Lansing, alongside 50 of his fellow fallen officers who died in the line of duty.
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