The sound of goodbye for Orange County Sheriff's Captain Tom Ray. Family, friends, and law enforcement officers from across the United States, gathered to celebrate his life Thursday.
"It was very heartbreaking. So unexpected. No one was expecting this and I certainly wasn't. I honestly just don't know what to feel just yet." said Deputy David Vaughn.
Vaughn had known Ray for almost twenty years. The two hit off as colleagues and became friends.
Ray started his career with the Orange County Sheriff's Office back in 1993. Ray was 23 years old. Family say he went by different nicknames like "Tom Tom" and "T-Ray."
Sheriff Keith Merritt taking the stage Thursday, describing Captain Ray who would always say the right words at the right time.
"We are hurting. It is what it is and we will go on and we will do what we have to do." said Merritt.
A slide show of pictures of Captain Ray showed him enjoying life and doing what he loved the most...protecting and serving.
"He was a good friend of mine and he will be greatly missed." Vaughn said.
A memorial fund has been set up to assist the family. To contribute, you can visit any Gulf Credit Union location and donate to the Tom Ray memorial fund.