He was a husband, father, police officer and an Airman. Christopher Eric Ewing lived to serve, according to those who knew him best.

And there was one more word that also fit, Smyrna police Chief Joseph Bennett said.

“In all of Chris’s roles, Chris was a hero,” Bennett said.

The funeral was held Friday for Ewing, who was killed in the line of duty April 21 when his patrol car was struck by a suspected drunk driver. He was 34.

“This is not how a career should end,” Bennett said.

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It wasn’t a typical funeral, due to the coronavirus. The service, held at Truist Park, was open only to family members and those in law enforcement or military uniforms. Gov. Brian Kemp also attended. Those attending wore face masks and sat apart from each other.

But the poignant message was shared: Ewing was a beloved officer and family man with an infectious smile and goofy sense of humor.

Ewing’s sister, Kimbra Ewing-Baskin, called him her best friend and one of the bravest people she had ever known. Ewing-Baskin read a statement from one of Ewing’s daughters, Caylin.

“I love you, I’m proud of you and I miss you every day,” Ewing-Basking read.

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Though the funeral was closed to the public, those in the community lined the streets early Friday to say goodbye to the fallen officer.

Numerous police vehicles participated in escorting the officer to Truist Park for the funeral service.  He was the third Georgia officer killed in the line of duty this year.

As the procession arrived at Truist Park, it passed under an enormous American flag. Inside the stadium, a horse-drawn carriage pulled Ewing’s casket to the sound of bagpipes.

 

Ewing, a married father of three, was a two-year veteran of the Smyrna Police Department and also served in the Air Force Reserves. He was a 2004 graduate of Osborne High School, where he played football.

In 2005, Ewing enlisted in the Air Force Reserves where he was assigned to the 94th APS Reserve Unit at Robins AFB, in Warner Robins. He served various deployments to Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Bagram, and received numerous awards and medals for his service.

In May 2014, Ewing was assigned to the Base Honor Guard at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta. As a member of the Honor Guard, Ewing participated in services around the Southeast honoring falling military members.

In July 2018, Ewing joined the Smyrna Police Department.

“He wanted to serve his community,” Bennett said.

The service ended with a 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, and a flyover by the U.S. Air Force. Interment followed at Georgia National Cemetery in Canton.

The man accused of causing the crash that killed Ewing, Robert Lorenzo Cox, remained Friday in the Cobb jail. Cox is being held without bond. Cox, 35, of Duluth, was arrested after the crash and charged with driving under the influence and homicide by vehicle in the first degree, both felonies, in addition to several misdemeanor traffic charges.

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC