Memorial held for Pasquotank corrections officer Justin Smith

A memorial service was held for corrections officer Justin Smith Sunday in Elizabeth City.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WVEC) --- Sunday involved a bit of closure and healing for the Pasquotank County Community.

A memorial service was held for the second corrections worker killed during an attempted jail break at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution.

Amazing grace played on the bag pipes as the casket carrying corrections officer Justin Smith arrived at the Elizabeth City State University Burnim Fine Arts Center.

However, no amount of music, salutes or prayers can replace the loss of Justin for his family and friends.

"I've lost someone deep and near to me,” said Sergeant Curtis Casper, a coworker of Justin’s at the Pasquotank prison.

"He was a true professional, a true person of God. Justin always lit the room up when he walked in. He was always smiling," said the Pasquotank Correctional Administrator, Felix Taylor

Justin and Correction Manager, Veronica Darden were both killed at an attempted prison escape on October 12th. The attack happened in a room meant to help inmates learn the trade of sewing.

A moment of silence honored the memory of Justin and Veronica.

"Your son was a hero, the staff that worked on this tragic day are hero's because they did not allow this to get into our society," said Felix.

This weekend the entire nation is feeling the loss for these families. Thousands of law enforcement and correctional officers showed up in solidarity.

“They showed up, they weren't afraid, they did what they had to do," said Bishop, David Hill.

“That’s what we like to see that people come in and actually care for the job that we do,” said the Rhode Island Correctional Training officer, Randy Denton.

It’s a room with words of hope and the memories of Justin. Curtis said he was a goal setter and passionate about his job at Pasquotank.

“Justin was more than a correctional officer, he went above and beyond the call of duty that day, and every day," said Curtis.

Now he leaves behind a legacy inspiring corrections officers and in the community.

"Pasquotank corrections we will rise above it,” said Bishop Hill.

The Department of Public Safety in North Carolina arranged the ceremonies this weekend. Today Erik A. Hooks, secretary of Public Safety and W. David Guice, chief deputy secretary, Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice paid their respects to Justin's family.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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