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Former Firefighter Memorial Turns Out 1,600 Mourners

11:37 PM, Feb 19, 2011   |    comments
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  • Michael McCue
  • Charles Edward Pearce, Person of Interest
  • Courtesy: McCue Family

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- More than 1,600 people turned out Saturday to remember a former fire fighter who was murdered last week. Among the mourners were soldiers in Afghanistan and Michael McCue's twin brother, Mitch.

Family members said 42-year old Michael McCue was randomly shot in the head while gardening at home last week in Jacksonville Beach.

The McCue family provided video clips to the media, which showed slideshows and eulogies.

"As tough as he was, he was also the guy who'd be out rescuing some stray cat, helping a neighbor in need," said Bob Brinker, brother-in-law, during the funeral.  

McCue's life flashed on a big screen. Pictures of him as a military contractor, a firefighter, and with friends played to a song.

"Its not fair, its not right," said Geoff Head, life-long friend. 

Head explained why hundreds of purple of black ribbons, the colors for his Fletcher High School McCue's alma mater, were a fitting tribute.

"We had some great, great times in high school together, more like a movie," said Head.

Outside of the church, fire trucks, ambulances and police cruisers could be spotted. McCue had worked for various fire departments on the First Coast. The service was also broadcast live to soldiers in Afghanistan. McCue had helped train soldiers to detect land mines.

"Mike helped so many people, I didn't know it was that many, this says it all," said Mitch McCue.

The family said the loss will always haunt the family.

"Mike was planting a plant in his front yard and he was shot in the back of the head. How do you plan for that? You don't," said Mitch McCue.

He is pleading for the public's help to track down a person of interest, Charles Edward Pearce.

"I need the help of the whole world. Right now, I feel like I'm on an island by myself," said McCue.

For now the McCue family hopes others can remember Mike by doing a good deed in his honor.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477) 
The  family said at $5,000 reward is being offered by the Justice Coalition.

First Coast News

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