PINEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Sean Pursifull had a simple answer when
faced with a challenge on the job as a deputy sheriff in rural
southeastern Kentucky: "let's go."
Often, the Bell County deputy Pursifull was joined by his K-9
service dog King. The two became popular figures at local schools,
educating students about the dangers of drug use and making 69
arrests during their three years together.
On Sunday the two were laid to rest side-by-side at Fuson Family
Cemetery following an emotional service at Bell County High, as
hundreds of mourners - many of them fellow law enforcement officers
- paid their final respects.
Pursifull and King were killed early Thursday morning when their
parked cruiser was struck by a car driven by two teenagers. Police say the teens were trying to elude police after a gas station drive-off. They have been charged with murder and assault of a service animal.
The teens pleaded not guilty during their closed arraignment in
district court Friday according to head public defender for Bell
County Linda West.
Over 900 people packed the high school during the service,
hundreds of them law enforcement officials from the tri-state area.
A sea of uniform hats filled the gymnasium, while the funeral
procession was packed with law-enforcement vehicles.
"He was a deputy with his whole heart. He poured his whole
heart into that uniform," said Rev. David Peters, chaplain of the
Pineville Police Department. "He was willing to pay the ultimate
Peters said Pursifull's optimism made him popular among his
peers, and his energy helped him lead the fight against drugs in an
area ravaged by abuse.
"We have a terrible drug problem and (Pursifull) was one of our
soldiers that wanted to fight that problem," Peters said. "He did
So did King. Bell County principal Jeff Saylor said the visits
by Pursifull and King made a significant impact with students.
Pursifull is survived by his wife and two children.
Information from: The Daily News,
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)