Funeral held for Virginia trooper killed in helicopter crash

RICHMOND, VA - AUGUST 18: Virginia State Police Superintendent Colonel Steven Flaherty delivers remarks during the funeral for Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates at Saint Paul's Baptist Church August 18, 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. Bates and Lieutenant Pilot Jay Cullen were killed when their Bell 407 helicopter crashed into a wooded area while they were monitoring the civil unrest during the white supremacy 'Unite the Right' rally August 12 in Charlottesville, VA.

RICHMOND, Va. — Mourners have gathered for the funeral of a Virginia state trooper who died in the fatal crash of a helicopter that had been monitoring a violent, white nationalist protest in Charlottesville.

Police officers from around the country honored Lt. Jay Cullen on Saturday at Southside Church of the Nazarene near Richmond.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called Cullen, who frequently piloted the governor around the state in a police helicopter, a “silent giant.”

Authorities say Cullen was the pilot of a helicopter providing video to police of activities in downtown Charlottesville last Saturday before it broke off to lend support to a motorcade for the governor. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

The funeral for the other trooper killed in the crash, Trooper-Pilot Berke Bates, was held Friday.