MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A Rendering of Honors ceremony took place Wednesday at loanDepot Park for fallen Miami-Dade Police Detective Cesar “Echy” Echaverry.
The morning began at the Vior Funeral Home where Echaverry’s body was driven by a full procession starting at 9:30 a.m. to the stadium.
Motormen from all over the state of Florida gathered outside the funeral home, including from Hillsborough County, Escambia County and Cape Coral to name a few. All were there to support and remember this man who gave his life to protect his community.
The large motorcade began with over 200 officers on their motorcycles not far behind.
Several members of the Miami-Dade Police Department escorted the hearse, with an American flag draped over the casket.
At a very slow pace, they made their way to loanDepot Park for the Rendering of Honors ceremony.
Family members and invited guests held a viewing before the general public.
The funeral service for the 29-year-old detective started at 10 a.m. at the venue, which was open to the general public.
At the ceremony, Echaverry’s family watched on from the front row, wearing special Marlins jerseys with his name and number on the back as local county and faith leaders delivered speeches to a crowd of law enforcement officers from across South Florida.
“Today we remember a beloved son, a brother, a friend, a fiancé, a colleague and a public servant,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
“Detective Cesar Echaverry served with true honor and died in the line of duty protecting our community. His bravery and sacrifice will not be forgotten,” Miami-Dade Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz said.
Echaverry’s sister, fiancée and best man also spoke at his service.
“Cesar, I am a better man today because I knew you,” his best man and Miami-Dade firefighter Leo Meneses said. “It’s a shame you won’t be here. We won’t be blessed with your presence anymore in the physical sense, but I know you’re with us brother.”
“As I start this new journey without you physically by my side, I pray that God allows you to continue protecting our parents and guide me with wisdom, strength and courage,” his sister, Sandra Echaverry, said.
LISTEN: End of watch call for Detective Cesar Echaverry:
“His love for his uniform and his unit was special,” Echaverry’s fiancée Stephanie Vargas said. “He was so strong, like a boulder, and I can still feel it as I’m standing in front of you all today. Losing Cesar has left a gaping hole in my heart. We will never be the same without him. We will honor his memory and legacy until we meet again.”
In all of the speeches Wednesday, there were two things in common -- they all talked about how Echaverry, who was known as Junior to his family, loved his job and how everyone that knew him, loved him.
“As many of you aren’t aware, that fateful night was Echy’s day off. But being who he was, he volunteered to participate in an initiative implemented to target violent criminals and reduce crime in Miami-Dade,” Miami-Dade police Lt. Ernesto S. Rodriguez said.
Once the ceremony was finished, Echaverry’s body was driven to Miami Executive Airport and will be flown to Nicaragua, where he’ll be laid to rest.
Echaverry was shot in the head while chasing an armed robbery suspect in Liberty City last week and died two days later from his injuries.
Echaverry, who had been an officer for five years, was part of the Miami-Dade Police Department’s robbery intervention detail.