UPDATE: Thousands Honor Deputy Steven Sandberg in Aitkin [VIDEO]
AITKIN -- The community of Aitkin and law enforcement from all over Minnesota are mourning the loss of Aitkin County Deputy Steven Sandberg, who was fatally shot Sunday at St. Cloud Hospital by the domestic violence defendant he was monitoring.
Over 5,000 people attended the funeral at Aitkin High School on Friday morning to honor the 24-year veteran of the sheriff's department.
Sandberg was also a volunteer firefighter for 17 years. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
WJON reporter Alex Svejkovsky attended the funeral and says posters are up in the windows of most businesses in Aitkin, honoring Deputy Sandberg. He also says there are memorials for him throughout the town.
Squad cars from St. Cloud, Sartell, St. Joseph, Sauk Rapids, Waite Park and Hospital Security lined up in town and Svejkovsky says there were so many law enforcement officers in attendance, that it took 20 minutes to get all of them into the high school.
Officers from as far away as California and New York reportedly have offered their condolences to Sandberg's family.
To honor Sandberg, Governor Mark Dayton has ordered all U.S. and Minnesota state flags to be flown at half-staff today.