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Adams County deputy shooting

An Adams County Sheriff’s deputy dressed in a crisp, light-blue uniform with a patrolman’s hat pulled low over his eyes paused to hold back tears before telling people how much his fallen colleague, Deputy Heath Gumm, meant to those who served by his side.

“He was the glue that held our shift together,” Deputy Cole Cockrum said. “Today, the county, state and country need to know we lost the most amazing cop, husband, son and brother I know. I’ll miss you, brother. I love you.”

Gumm was the first deputy to reach out when a new officer joined his night shift, and he was the one who would answer the call and listen when someone was having trouble on the job or at home, Cockrum said.

Gumm had a silly side, too. He could persuade his fellow deputies to join him on stage for a rousing karaoke song and would be fast with a quip that Pabst Blue Ribbon was “too fine of a beer to pour into a glass.”

The deputy, shot to death Jan. 24 while chasing a suspect wanted in connection with a fight, was remembered with laughter and tears Friday during a two-hour service at Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette. His father, Jim, along with four deputies, a Denver Police Department officer and Sheriff Michael McIntosh gave eulogies that recounted an adventurous, passionate life.

Gumm, 31, had served at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office since 2012, and his goal was to become a detective. Because of that, McIntosh on Friday designated Gumm an honorary detective and gave his family a new badge signifying the rank.

Gumm was a leader on his patrol shift, and his colleagues have been telling stories about his heroics as an officer over the past week, McIntosh said. Many of the stories involved the “warrior” side of policing. But Gumm also served with a guardian mentality for Adams County, the sheriff said.

“A lot of the time, what you don’t find is the deep caring and compassion,” McIntosh said. “Heath had a true concern for the community he served.”

Thousands of law enforcement officers from as far away as New York City gathered with the Gumm family to pay respects and to listen to stories about a man who knew how to have fun but also was a serious, dedicated deputy. Hundreds of them escorted his hearse to the church in a funeral procession that stretched for miles along Interstate 25.

Once inside the church, Gumm’s casket was carried into the sanctuary by an honor guard as Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” played.

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