Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Thousands Expected at Funeral for Sheriff's Sergeant

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Thousands Expected at Funeral for Sheriff's Sergeant

Article excerpt

CHARLOTTE: The 21-year veteran of the force was shot in the line of duty

CHARLOTTE COUNTY

Thousands of law enforcement officers and government officials are expected to join the family and friends of Sgt. Michael Wilson this weekend to celebrate the life and mourn of loss of the 21-year veteran.

Wilson, 42, was shot Monday when responding to a domestic disturbance call at an apartment complex in Port Charlotte. He was a road patrol supervisor for the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office.

Gov. Rick Scott is among officials expected to attend Saturday's memorial service, set to begin at 10 a.m.

A "missing man" fly-by has been planned in honor of Wilson.

The services, as well as a Friday night viewing, will be held at Charlotte Harbor Event Center. The facility has a maximum capacity of 2,000 at standing room only.

"We are anticipating probably double or more than number to come to the services," according to a news release from the sheriff's office. "Therefore, access into the event center will be limited."

Members of the public are asked to view the services, which will be streamed live, from home.

There will not be a graveside burial service, although an honorary procession that will pass Lakes of Tuscana Apartments, where Wilson was fatally wounded, will follow the funeral.

"We encourage the people of Charlotte County who want to show their support for Sgt. Wilson and his family to station themselves somewhere along the procession route," the release states.

Roads will be temporarily shut down during the procession, and motorists are advised to avoid downtown Punta Gorda due to expected traffic congestion Saturday. Those flying out of the Punta Gorda Airport should take an alternate route, such as Interstate 75.

The Florida Association of Sheriffs has reached out to Charlotte County to make sure the department has the resources it needs as deputies grieve their colleague's death. …

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