OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – This week has been hard for many as an Oklahoma County Deputy, Sgt. Bobby Swartz, was shot and killed Monday afternoon while serving eviction papers, and now he’s been laid to rest.
“Bobby and everybody in Judiciary, they serve thousands of court orders every single year, and kicking somebody out of their home is never easy, and we give them as many opportunities as we can. But at the end of the day, it’s a court order. We have to do it. Bobby always had resources for them, so it wasn’t just, ‘Hey, hit the bricks.’ It was, ‘I’m sorry, we have to do this, but here’s an apartment complex to take Section 8. Here’s how you apply for Section 8. Here’s some resources for you to get some cash. Here’s the number for the food bank.’ It wasn’t unusual for him to take people to the courthouse to apply for aid. He was a good man.”Aaron Brilbeck, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer
Thousands of those who cared for Sgt. Swartz or was touched by his story showed up to Crossings Community Church Friday morning.
The procession rolled into the parking lot around 11:10 a.m. and then Sgt. Swartz’s casket was taken into the church.
In that procession were officers and deputies from all over the state of Oklahoma as well as from Texas.
Between 1,500 and 2,000 motorcyclists also joined.
“It’s overwhelming. We’ve had literally hundreds of thousands of people reach out to us from as far away as Sydney, Australia, to extend their compassion. We’re a small agency. Everybody within the Sheriff’s Office knows everybody. We’re a tight knit family and early on this was our pain. We were taking this grief on ourselves. This isn’t our cross to bear alone. People are grieving with us. They’re sharing in our grief. They gave us the grace that we needed to grieve properly and to remember Bobby. And it’s a gift we’ll never forget.”Aaron Brilbeck, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer
The funeral began at 1 p.m. where loved ones had the opportunity to reflect on who Sgt. Swartz was.
Brilbeck said Friday was not a day to grieve and mourn though.
“This is about a celebration of life of service and a celebration of a life well lived,” he explained.
“He was very well liked. He was very well respected. He was a team player. He loved his job. He loved his profession and he loved his family,” former Oklahoma County Sheriff P.D. Taylor told those in attendance.
Taylor also said Sgt. Swartz meant a lot to him. “Bobby was a hero. and I say that because every man and woman who puts a uniform on is a hero. There are no routine traffic stops. There are no routine calls.”
Oklahoma County Sheriff Tommie Johnson III said Sgt. Swartz defined what it means to be a hero.
“A woman who tried to commit suicide is still alive and now thriving because of him. A little boy who Bobby would bring apples to now has a role model and our nation has a hero. Those of us who knew Bobby are better because of him. He showed us how to love without boundaries or judgment. He was an amazing father who couldn’t talk about his family without smiling, and that always made us smile,” added Sheriff Johnson III.
Former Oklahoma County Sheriff John Wetzel also took the podium to say Sgt. Swartz was a “team member. He was selfless. He had a servant’s heart. Bobby served with pride and professionalism, and he was good at what he did.”
News 4 asked Brilbeck if there are specific memories he wanted to reflect on, but he said there was just too many.
However, he did share:
“Bobby always smiles. What a lot of people don’t know about Bobby was he was involved in two motorcycle crashes that probably would have killed anybody else. He was in constant pain, just walking hurt, but you never knew it unless you asked him, because he was always smiling, and he just, he never wanted anybody else to know that he was in pain because he knows that other people have it so much worse than he does, and he was just so grateful for the opportunity to serve.”
The funeral wrapped up at 2 p.m.
A 21-gun salute was presented and the sound of bagpipes filled the air as Sgt. Swartz’s casket was carried into the hearse.
Minutes later, the procession began and hundreds of cars fell in line to head to Sgt. Swartz’s burial site in Northwest Oklahoma City.
“Bobby, may you rest in peace brother,” ended Taylor.
News 4 spoke with Sgt. Swartz’s son, Austin, earlier this week. He said, “I’m not sure what the world will look like without him; I do know it’s just not going to be the same.”
Brilbeck told KFOR the other Oklahoma County Deputy shot Monday afternoon, Mark Johns, is stable and in the recovery process. He is experiencing “survivor’s guilt,” though, as he is trying to process what has happened to his friend, Sgt. Swartz.