Dinwiddie prepares to honor Trooper Walker's memory

Master Trooper J.A. Walker
Master Trooper J.A. Walker

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) - A county-wide prayer vigil will be held for Master Trooper J.A. Walker at Smyrna Baptist Church on Carson Road and Route 1 in Dinwiddie County.

Minister Dawn Upton will spend the weekend helping with preparations, getting the church ready to receive hundreds of mourners.

"Just to have anyone from the community to come out and just share any thoughts that they want to share about officer Walker, pray for his family, friends, fellow coworkers who are in the force as well," said Upton.

The church can fit about 350 people, but Upton expects more will show.

"Our pastor, Robert Roland, I'm sure he's already in preparation in thinking about his thoughts and prayers about what he may say for his service," said Upton.

A prayer service may be just what the community needs as so many are in mourning.

At Fat's BBQ, a sign out front says thoughts and prayers go out to the Walker family.

Manager Nancy Hower said Walker was a regular - ordered the dinner plate every time.

"I used to tell him 'you look so big and scary, but you're just a teddy bear,'" said Hower.

Hower said she and others from the restaurant will be at the church Monday night.

"Because we cared about him, we appreciated his service, we appreciated what he did for our community," she said.

At the restaurant, one of Walker's neighbors spoke to us.

"I don't know how anybody can do something like that. Somebody who has been in the community, someone who the county knows and he just became a good friend to a lot of people, it's sad," said Daniel Crabtree.

Near Walker's home, neighbors say they're very angry.

"Nobody should have to go out that way, the man dedicated his life to doing his job," said Barbara Leucht.

"He was a good guy, he's a family oriented man," said Charles Leucht.

The prayer service will be in Dinwiddie at the Smyrna Baptist Church at 7 p.m. That's in the 18000 block of Carson Road near Route 1.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.