Family, friends and the community gathered Monday to honor the Phoenix police detective who died in a gun battle with a fugitive.
Funeral services for Detective John Hobbs, 43, began about 10:15 a.m. Monday at Christ's Church of the Valley located at 7007 W. Happy Valley Rd. in Peoria.
Christ's Church of the Valley Pastor Don Wilson gave opening remarks.
Phoenix police Chief Daniel Garcia said his eulogy would be based on the "three passions of John Hobbs": martial arts, his roll as a husband, father and family man, and his third passion was policing.
"The family loved the outdoors and enjoyed camping, off-road jeeping and shooting," Garcia said. "John's biggest and most favorite passion was family."
He is survived by his wife, Cathy Hobbs, and three children, Mason, Christian and Cecilia.
"The weekend before John's passing, he was contemplating working a scheduled overtime assignment to Vice President Joe Biden's protection detail, but John chose family instead, a decision (his wife) will cherish forever," Garcia said.
Garcia said Detective A.J. Casados, who was wounded in the March 3 shooting, stated, "I'm a grown man, but when I grow up, I want to be like John."
"Let us take comfort in knowing that what John did in life, his purpose, his passion, will always echo for an eternity," Garcia said.
"No one is compelled to answer the call of being a police officer, but for John having chosen this career, he willingly answered and accepted not only the demands of policing, but also the highest standards of its requirements and John demanded the same of his fellow officers," Garcia said. "John loved to hunt down criminals."
Hobbs served with the Phoenix Police Department for 21 years.
"Remember the character and courage that John left as a legacy to policing, a legacy to the Phoenix Police Department, a commitment to his fellow officer and man," Garcia said. "On March 3, we all bear witness to the bravery and sacrifice made by Detective John Hobbs. John never gave up. John gave it his all to save his partner and fellow officers."
Hobbs' longtime friend, Terry Blogg, told stories of Hobbs when they were growing up and were big fans of Star Wars and ninjas.
"We were going to be good-guy ninjas," Blogg recalled.
Blogg said he was the best man at Hobbs' wedding, however, Hobbs was the best man he ever knew.
"The world is a safer place because he lived in it," Blogg said.
Detective Mike Miller was working with Hobbs and Casados when Hobbs was fatally shot.
"John died honorably with me and A.J. He took that fight to an evil enemy," Miller said. "He fought forward to protect his fellow officers, his brothers, and even at that moment, John wanted to know if I was OK and if A.J. was OK. Once I assured him that we were both OK, John made me promise him to tell his wife and his kids that he loves them and never allow them to forget that he loves them all. He also told me to make sure his sister knew that he loved her. We will all miss John as a great man, father and husband. I will miss that guy as our brother."
"If you were lucky enough to meet John Hobbs, your life was better because of it," Miller said.
Hobbs' sergeant, Bob Knapp, spoke about the last minutes and hours he was with Hobbs.
"On March 3, 2014, Hobbs didn't just talk the talk, he showed the strength and character of a brave and courageous man who walked the walked ... he epitomized all it means to be a police officer," Knapp said.
"Today, I am even more proud to wear this uniform and this badge. I am honored to have called him my partner and I am honored to have called him my friend," Knapp said with tears.
Mesa Assistant Chief Heston Silbert, who worked for the Phoenix Police Department for 22 years, said he had the pleasure to work with Hobbs.
"For the majority of those 22 years, I was friends and had the honor to lead John on several assignments," Silbert said.
The funeral procession went along a stretch of eastbound Loop 101 in Glendale and north Phoenix on Monday, according to ADOT. Hobbs was buried at Phoenix Memorial Park and Cemetery located at 200 W. Beardsley Rd. in Phoenix.
Hobbs was shot and killed Monday as he and other members of the Fugitive Apprehension Team attempted to serve a felony warrant on a man who was recently released from prison.
Both Hobbs and Casados, 37, were wounded and taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in critical condition. Hobbs later died from his injuries.
Casados was released from the hospital Wednesday.
The visitation was held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Surprise Funeral Care located at 16063 W. Bell Rd. in Surprise.
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