Family, law enforcement community pay last respects to Dep. Sean Riley


FAIRFIELD, Ill. (WEHT) Southern Illinois says goodbye to a Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy who lost his life in the line of duty.

The final goodbye took place this afternoon for Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley. He was killed last Wednesday when trying to help a driver along I-64.

Police say that driver turned out to be an accused car jacker who shot and killed riley on the interstate. Today, Deputy Riley’s life was remembered during a ceremony at Fairfield Community High School with people from all over the region paying their respects.

They came from across Wayne County and across the Midwest to pay their last respects to Deputy Sean Riley.(Sheriff chris otey)

“Sean was a cop’s cop. Any member of law enforcement would have loved to have him on their team,” said Wayne County Sheriff Chris Otey, who knew Dep. Riley since riley was a corrections officer. He called him a shining example of compassion and bravery, a deputy who made everyone around him better. He added Dep. Riley cared about his family as much as he cared about law enforcement.

“The only thing Sean cared about being more than a deputy was his family. To them, I cannot express…how truly sorry I am,” he said.

Pastor Philip Trent of Wesleyan Church of Fairfield also described Dep. Riley as someone who was always happy and happy to help others.

“He was happy to go out of his way to help. He was always doing something kind for someone. That’s just who he was. He didn’t see life as something that was supposed to revolve around him, and if it started to, he’d make sure it didn’t,” he said.

Trent also asked Riley’s family to never forget those in his law enforcement family who support them through these times.

“I want you to look at all those people over there. This is your family. This is your family. I don’t want you to ever forget that. You are not alone,” he said, referring to the law enforcement officers who stood at one point during the funeral service.

(This story was originally published on January 4, 2022)

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