Hundreds gather to honor St. Croix County Deputy Kaitie Leising as she’s laid to rest

Hundreds gather at the funeral of St. Croix County Deputy Kaitie Leising

Hundreds gather at the funeral of St. Croix County Deputy Kaitie Leising

Hundreds of people, including a large contingent of law enforcement officers, showed up Friday to pay their final respects to fallen St. Croix County Deputy Kaitie Leising.

Public visitation at Hudson High School went from 9 a.m. until noon, with a funeral and procession immediately following. As previously reported, flags in the state were ordered to fly at half-staff Friday in honor of Leising.

Roughly 1,500 officers were expected to attend Friday’s events, many of whom were at the high school early Friday morning when the hearse arrived and helped guide the casket inside.

Law enforcement officers and community members are invited to attend a prayer vigil hosted by a former police chaplain at the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol Friday night starting at 6 p.m.

Leising’s death is the third time within the past month that a law enforcement officer died in the line of duty in Minnesota or Wisconsin.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald spoke Friday to show support for the community after two officers died in his county last month.

“It gets you emotional and you know, you try not to be as the leader, you don’t want to be weak, but weakness is OK. And together, we’ll get through it and that’s okay too. It’s going to be really touching this afternoon and we do that for Kaitie and her family and then to our brothers and sisters at the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department,” Sheriff Fitzgerald said.

Leising, 29, was responding to reports of a driver in the ditch near Glenwood City, Wisconsin, on Saturday night.

Around 6:15 p.m., Leising arrived at the scene near the intersection of Highway 128 and County Road G. There, she encountered a car in a ditch and another vehicle with people who had pulled over to help.

Leising asked the driver of the car in the ditch, 34-year-old Jeremiah Johnson, to perform a field sobriety test, but he was “evasive,” the Wisconsin Department of Justice said in a news release.

That’s when investigators say he shot Leising, who fired three rounds back at him, but they all missed.

RELATED: Suspect accused of shooting, killing St. Croix deputy had lengthy criminal history

The good Samaritans who had pulled over tried to save Leising’s life, but she was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to the Wisconsin DOJ.

Johnson was later found dead next to a gun after running into the nearby woods.

Click the video player below to watch the funeral for Deputy Kaitie Leising.

St. Croix County Deputy Kaitie Leising to be laid to rest on Friday, procession route announced

The funeral with law enforcement honors will directly follow at 12:30.

RELATED: St. Croix County dispatch confirms officer-involved-shooting

RELATED: St. Croix County deputy shot and killed identified

RELATED: Communities mourn loss of St. Croix County deputy killed in line of duty

RELATED: Slain St. Croix County deputy leaves behind wife and son; funeral set for Friday