LOUISVILLE, Ky. — LMPD gathered to say goodbye to one of their own Wednesday — Officer Martez Hughes died suddenly last week, suffering a heart attack while off-duty.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a small group of people surrounded a flag-draped casket under a portico while others sat in cars spaced apart in the Southeast Christian Church parking lot.
Those not in the small group surrounding Hughes listened via police radios and watched on Facebook. Horns blared and sirens rang out as the socially distanced audience sounded their support for a friend and colleague.
Hughes was just 49 years old when he died, described as a man of deep faith who served the Louisville Metro Police Department for 10 years.
Those that knew him said he loved his wife as much as any man they ever knew. His widow, Sherry, recalled a love code she shared with her husband.
"When we would end a text to each other we would always put 333, which meant I love you, I love you, I love you," Sherry Hughes said. "Wives, do you know how powerful and meaningful it is to have a godly husband? It changes everything, and our marriage continued to grow stronger and stronger each and every day because of it."
Daughter Bella encouraged people to go home and do something she could no longer do, hold onto their loved one and remind them of those words.
As soon as the service wrapped up and the hearse left, the rain poured to match the mood. While it may not have looked like the typical funeral for a fallen officer, it was an honor befitting a man admired by colleagues, trusted by friends and loved by all he held dear.