Fallen Jacksonville officer honored at Jumbo Shrimp game

Sheriff leaves ball on mound in honor of Officer Lance Whitaker

By Colette DuChanois - Web producer

Officer Lance Whitaker was honored at Thursday night's Jumbo Shrimp game. (Images provided by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp game Thursday night featured an emotional tribute to the a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office patrolman killed in the line of duty Tuesday in a single-car crash on Interstate 295.

Officer Lance Whitaker, 48, was honored at the start of the game at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. 

Sheriff Mike Williams was scheduled to throw out the first pitch. Instead, everyone in the stadium stood and Williams left the ball on the pitcher's mound in honor of Whitaker.

There was also a flyover by a JSO helicopter after the national anthem, which was performed by JSO Sgt. Ruth Litt.

Officers with the Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach police departments also joined Williams on the field in honor of Whitaker.

Earlier on Thursday, hundreds of people lined the roadways to pay respects to the fallen officer as police escorted his body from the medical examiner's office to a funeral home.

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