SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — People lined the streets of downtown Springfield Monday as a procession of law enforcement officers escorted the body of Deputy Matthew Yates back to Clark County.

Deputy Yates was shot and killed in the line of duty on Sunday, July 24, 2022. The community is mourning the loss. Anthony Bleything is the bailiff for the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center. He said Deputy Yates was his best friend.

“I served eight years with the sheriff’s office, with Deputy Yates. We started on third shift together and eventually ended our careers on road patrol. And he was a wonderful husband, father, and best friend. And most of all, he was a great deputy to this community. He set the bar very high,” Bleything said.

Bleything said this loss is devastating to the community and devastating to Yates’ family.

“Matt Yates was super important to this community and we hope that he will rest well, and we hope that everyone will keep his family in their thoughts and prayers,” Bleything said.

Glen Massie and his wife also lined up downtown to pay their respects. They have two grandsons in law enforcement, and they are heartbroken for the Yates Family.

“Matt went to heaven yesterday. We’re here in support of the family today. They need all the prayers we can give them. God will handle it,” Massie said.