Jackson County

Jackson County law enforcement remembers fallen officers

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JACKSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT The Jackson County Color Guard led to the procession to the gravesite of Pascagoula Police Officer Nathaniel Smith at Crestlawn Memorial Park on Thursday.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JACKSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT The Jackson County Color Guard led to the procession to the gravesite of Pascagoula Police Officer Nathaniel Smith at Crestlawn Memorial Park on Thursday.

JACKSON COUNTY -- Jackson County law enforcement remembered its seven fallen officers Thursday as part of National Police Week.

The ceremony took place at the gravesite of Pascagoula Police Maj. Nathaniel Smith, who was killed by a drunken driver May 22, 1976. Several of Smith's family members, including his daughter, Jennifer Burras, gathered in Crestlawn Memorial Park to remember him.

Sheriff Mike Ezell paid tribute to Smith for paying the ultimate sacrifice during the ceremony.

The Sheriff's Department Color Guard along with Pascagoula police officers and others made the procession to the grave.

Memorial wreaths were also placed simultaneously at the graves of the following officers:

-- Pascagoula Police Officer Terry Micheal Byrd, who died in a 2006 motorcycle crash in Pascagoula.

-- Moss Point officer Larry Lee, who died in 2002 when he was hit by a vehicle involved in a police chase.

-- Jackson County deputy Bruce Evans, who died in 2000 while waiting to assist George County officers in a pursuit. He was standing outside his patrol car when a suspect's vehicle hit a car, which slammed into Evans.

-- National Park ranger Robert McGhee, who was shot to death in 1990 when he stopped a car at Gulf Islands National Seashore.

-- Pascagoula officer Jeffrey Rugheimer, who died in 1972 when an asphalt truck rolled over him while he was directing traffic.

-- Ocean Springs Sgt. Ernest F. "Red" Beaugez, who died in 1954 when a prisoner he was trying to lock up took him hostage and shot him to death.

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