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Published July 29, 2010, 08:24 AM

Touching tribute for a deputy shot in the line of duty

Detroit Lakes, Minn. (WDAY TV) - During the Mahnomen County deputy's final days, a touching tribute in Lakes Country to a man many supporters have never met. Hundreds of people lined a busy highway for the special salute to Chris Dewey, the deputy shot in the line of duty last year.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

Neighbors, friends, and fellow law enforcement joined for a moving vigil; a vigil connecting three counties: Mahnomen, Roseau, and Becker. It was emotional for drivers, but even more for those who now consider Dewey family.

As the sun sets over Detroit Lakes, Deputy Chris Dewey's squad car makes its way back to Mahnomen. The license is his number 909.

“It's an honor for me to be driving his car. I just. I think Chris would be a little embarrassed about it, making a fuss over him.”

Mahnomen County Sheriff Doug Krier holding back tears as a long line of strangers stands up for a man most have never met, but this is something nobody expects to happen and everybody suffers with it.

“The night this incident happened Chris became a part of all of our lives.”

All of the supporters are here for one reason.

“This is what we're about. This is what our nation is supposed to be about, us as citizens of this country.”

To honor Dewey, the deputy whose chair sits empty, but who now fills the hearts of these strangers.

“Chris Dewey you're not alone. You're a fighter.”

The darkness of the shooting is overshadowed by candles lighting Highway 59 all the way home. An emotional night ending with a moving moment, released balloons fill the skyline showing Deputy Dewey will not be forgotten.

“We thought we'd have a better outcome, but time will tell.”

Dewey's Caring Bridge site says his family is in a holding pattern. He's said to be comfortable. Dewey's family praying and taking advantage of every moment they have left with him.