Family, friends remember fallen Gwinnett County officer at funeral
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The Gwinnett County officer killed in the line of duty has been laid to rest.
Officer Antwan Toney was shot and killed Saturday while responding to a call about a suspicious car.
The service took place Wednesday morning at 12Stone Church on Buford Drive in Lawrenceville.
Officer Toney's flag-draped casket arrived at the Lawrenceville church by horse-drawn carriage.
"We little knew that day God was going to call your name. In life, we loved you dearly. In death we do the same," said Officer Ryan Walsh, Gwinnett County Police Department.
With heavy hearts, hundreds of law enforcement officers from across Georgia gathered to pay tribute to a fallen comrade.
"Today, our hearts are heavy due to the loss of Officer Toney who was a beloved family member, a role model, a friend, and an excellent police officer," said Major Everett Spellman, Gwinnett County Police Department.
Officer Toney graduated from the Gwinnett County Police Academy in 2016 realizing his life-long dream of becoming a police officer.
"My family is dealing with a devastating and incomprehensible loss that we could have never foreseen," said Carla Johnson, officer's sister.
Saying their lives will be forever changed with her brother's passing, Officer Toney's sister, grateful family, and friends all came together just two weeks ago to celebrate Officer Toney's 30th birthday.
"My family and the world has lost one of the most genuine and kind human beings there ever will be at just 30 years old Antwan lived a life more full than most," said Johnson.
Gwinnett County Police officers shared fond memories of their colleague during his time on the force.
"There was not a day that Toney walked in roll call and did not have a smile and a positive attitude to do police work," said Officer Martele Smith, Gwinnett County Police Department.
Pastor Chris Huff shared a message the officer posted on Facebook about a year ago in which he expressed his love for the job.
"He said ‘I can't believe a year ago I started into this rewarding profession. I can't say this is for everyone. I've laughed and smiled. I've felt sadness many times. I even cried a few times. I've saved many lives and I've gotten to meet some amazing people in the process, but I will say that I take pride in what I do and I am so blessed to be able to do it,’" said Pastor Chris Huff.
Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers awarded the late officer an honorable service medal, medal of valor and the purple heart medal recognizing the young officer for his exemplary service during his years on the force, paying the ultimate sacrifice in service to his community.
"Antwon Toney badge 1808 died doing what he loved serving citizens and making Gwinnett County a safer place and for that, he will never be forgotten," said Chief Ayers.
After the service, a police escort paraded Officer's Toney's body to Crowell Brothers Funeral Home. During that procession, Georgians lined the road to say goodbye to the fallen officer.
MORE: The shooting, the manhunt, and arrests
Officer Toney was six days shy of his third anniversary with the Gwinnett County Police Department. He had been with the department since October 26, 2015, and graduated from the Gwinnett Police Department’s 94th Academy on April 21, 2016, along with 25 other cadets.
This was Officer Toney’s first job as a sworn law enforcement officer, Police Chief Butch Ayers said. Prior to joining the department, he worked as a security guard.
Officer Toney is originally from Southern California, where his family still lives.