Henrico County police officers are still mourning the loss of one of their own, making Friday’s annual memorial service honoring those felled in the line of duty all the more poignant.
It’s been nearly 45 days since Trey Marshall Sutton died following a three-car collision on March 30 along U.S. 301 near the intersection of Chamberlayne Avenue and Wilkinson Road. The 24-year-old had just graduated from the police academy two months earlier.
“We are still trying to recover,” Henrico Police Chief Eric English told the crowd, comprised mostly of active or retired officers and the families of fallen officers including Sutton’s, that gathered at Mount Vernon Baptist Church on Friday.
Sutton’s death marks the 10th line-of-duty death for the division since 1895. The event also memorialized a Virginia State Police trooper, Michael Todd Blanton, killed in the county in 2003. It has been more than 19 years since the last Henrico officer, André Gerard Booker, was killed.
On Jan. 12, 2003, Booker responded to a call for a shooting near Virginia Center Commons. He was fatally injured when his police vehicle plunged into a drainage culvert filled with icy water as he attempted to block the suspect’s vehicle from fleeing the parking lot, according to the division.
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“We do a police memorial every year, and when you talk about officers who have perished in the line of duty, many of those officers died many, many years ago,” English said after the ceremony.
This year’s felt very different, he said — more difficult. It’s the first since he took over as chief in 2020 where one of the officers he had led was among those honored.
“You still feel it,” English said of the pain and emotion of Sutton’s passing. “Hopefully, time will help the pain dwindle.”
The families of Jerry Edwin Trimmer, killed in 1966; Donald Aubrey Stillman, shot in 1984; and William Herman Edwards III, who died in 1998, were in attendance. As a bell tolled marking the end of each officer’s watch, a representative of the family or a fellow officer put a carnation on a wreath that will be placed at the county’s police memorial located off Parham Road, where the annual service usually takes place. It was moved inside this year because of forecasted rainfall.
Sutton’s brother, Jared, and his fiancee, Zoe Pierson, were the last to step forward. County Manager John Vithoulkas wiped tears from his face as they placed their flowers on the arrangement.
“Law enforcement is a path that willingly surrenders of a tomorrow to serve today,” Vithoulkas said during the ceremony.
Sutton’s training officer, Greg Petrohovich, is still hospitalized as a result of the March 30 collision but is recovering, English said afterward. Petrohovich’s father attended Friday’s event.
A man being transported by the two officers was also seriously injured in the crash and is on life support, English said.
No charges have been filed. The investigation remains ongoing.
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