HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Thousands of people have turned out to pay their respects at a final farewell to Sandeep Dhaliwal, the Harris County Sheriff's deputy who was gunned down during a traffic stop last week.
Dhaliwal was described as "a trailblazer" for being the first Sikh deputy in his agency. He is being remembered for his compassion, warm smile and for a life marked by service to others.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Dhaliwal was "a man of dedication, faith, love and compassion."
Thousands of people, including law enforcement personnel from the U.S. and Canada, attended a law enforcement ceremony and a Sikh religious ceremony at the Berry Center in Cypress.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, the nation's first Sikh state's attorney general, said Dhaliwal "inspired an entire generation of Sikhs to public service."
Dhaliwal, a 10-year veteran of HCSO, was the first member of the Sikh community to join the sheriff's office.
The traditional Sikh funeral rites start with a priest singing sacred hymns. At different points during the ceremony, the priest paused to translate for those who do not speak Punjabi.
After the service, members of the Harris County Sheriff's Office said their goodbyes to Dhaliwal with full honors and a 21-gun salute.
Members of the national Sikh community arrived from all over the country and have asked people attending to wear navy blue.
Deputy Dhaliwal attended the Sikh National Center twice a week with his family. He's survived by his wife and three children.