JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – State troopers across Florida are remembering a dedicated lawman who investigators said was killed while trying to help a driver stuck on the side of the road.
According to investigators, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joseph Bullock was shot and killed Wednesday morning by that driver, who was later killed by another officer.
According to multiple media reports, officials on Thursday identified the man who they say shot and killed the trooper as 28-year-old Franklin Reed III.
“He was a trooper’s trooper,” said Master Sgt. Dylan Bryan, a Jacksonville-based trooper, who went to the training academy with Bullock nearly two decades ago. “He did a good job. He was always positive.”
Bryan said the two have remained friends ever since then. He was heartbroken to learn the news of Bullock’s death, while helping a stranded driver on the side of I-95 in Martin County.
“I don’t want to say anything is routine, but this is following the daily action of an FHP trooper on the side of the road,” Bryan noted.
“We sat side by side, next to each other in the academy class,” he added. “Front row. Right there in the face of the instructors.”
Bryan said he admired Bullock’s dedication and passion.
“Not only a classmate, but a friend,” he said. “My hero man. He pretty much took the motto of the Highway Patrol and lived it every day.”
Funny, friendly, forgiving; Bullock was well-respected by his peers. Men and women honored him with a procession, escorting his body from the scene. It was a difficult sight for those who have devoted their lives to protecting others.
“We know there are dangers,” Bryan noted. “We know we may not come home to our families. It doesn’t stop us. The work continues. The wheels of justice will always continue to spin.”
Bullock leaves behind his parents, sisters and a girlfriend who works for FHP, Bryan said. His funeral will likely be next week.
Bullock is the 49th person from FHP to be killed in the past 80 years.