‘We lost a hero’: Family, colleagues remember fallen Orlando police Officer Kevin Valencia

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Police Department remembered fallen officer Kevin Valencia during a funeral service on Wednesday.

“He lived for something bigger than himself,” First Baptist Orlando pastor David Uth said.

READ: 10-7: Dispatcher reads ‘last call’ for fallen Orlando police officer Kevin Valencia

Valencia died last week after battling a traumatic head injury from a line of duty shooting nearly three years ago.

Pastor Shaddy Soliman from Lake Mary Church where the Valencias were members said Kevin lived with a desire to serve.

PHOTOS: Remembering fallen Orlando police Officer Kevin Valencia

“Kevin put his life on the line for what he believes in and what he believes for,” Soliman said.

The officer’s wife, Meghan, described Kevin as “the goofiest hero you’ve ever met.”

READ: Fallen Orlando police Officer Kevin Valencia honored with processional

She said the couple met when they were 12 and whispered “I love you” over the phone so their parents wouldn’t hear.

Over the next decade and a half, the pair married and had two sons. Meghan said Kevin was “the most incredible father you could ever imagine.”

READ: Orlando officer shot during 2018 hostage situation dies

“I know Kevin is here with us because, believe me, he would not leave his boys,” she said.

Kevin was courageous, stubborn and goofy, Meghan said.

“To say that Kevin was a fighter would simply be an understatement,” she said.

She said with his passing not only did the community lose a dedicated officer and a family lose their son, father and husband, but also “we lost a hero.”

Valencia was in a coma and had been in an Atlanta facility and, more recently, one closer to home in Central Florida while trying to recover from the gunshot wound.

In October 2020, Valencia retired from the Orlando Police Department and was awarded the Purple Heart for his actions.

READ: ‘A true hero’: Law enforcement agencies, officials remember Orlando officer Kevin Valencia

“Officer Valencia risked his life for people he didn’t even know -- a risk that many in the law enforcement profession take without question,” police Chief Orlando Rolon wrote in a news release. “Since that tragic night, Officer Valencia has been fighting for his life with his family by his side.

Orlando police led a procession of Valencia’s casket to the church Wednesday morning. Skywitness 9 flew over the procession. You can see that video below:

WATCH LIVE: Skywitness 9 flies over procession for fallen Orlando police officer

WATCH LIVE: Skywitness 9 is flying over the procession for fallen Orlando police Officer Kevin Valencia. READ >>> at.wftv.com/3sj5fgh

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The funeral service was held at First Baptist Orlando on Wednesday beginning 11 a.m. You can watch the service in full below:

WATCH LIVE: Funeral service for fallen Orlando police Officer Kevin Valencia

WATCH LIVE: A funeral service is underway for fallen Orlando police Officer Kevin Valencia. Read about his life >>> at.wftv.com/3sj5fgh

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Wednesday, March 24, 2021

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Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.