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Thousands pay respects to fallen deputy Lt. Michael Hoosock: 'Unit 45L2, out of service'

Lt. Michael Hoosock was a 16-year veteran of the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department
Onondaga County Sheriff's Department
Lt. Michael Hoosock was a 16-year veteran of the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department

Thousands of police and first responders gathered at the State Fairgrounds Monday, to pay respects to Michael Hoosock, an Onondaga County Sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty last week. Thousands of first responders from all over central New York and New York state, and some from around the country, descended on the fairgrounds for Hoosock's funeral mass.

Hundreds of deputies, firefighters, EMTs, and police officers, filed silently into the cavernous Expo Center center to honor Hoosock, with his family sitting nearby the flag-draped coffin. Father Christopher Celentano presided over the funeral mass for his friend, also known as Hooch.

"These coming days I invite you to continue to keep Hooch in your prayers, keep the family in your prayers, the brethren in your prayers," Celentano said. "Let's also pray for healing, for peace, and for protection of all of those who serve us in central New York."

Hoosock and Syracuse Police Officer Michael Jensen were killed by a gunman during a shootout at a suburban Liverpool home on April 14. Jensen’s funeral was Saturday.

Hoosock leaves behind his wife Caitlin and their three young children. In a eulogy, she described Hoosock as the fun parent, the tickle monster who would take kids out for ice cream for dinner, but also as a humble public servant who excelled at his career.

"I also hope that we can all strive to be the kind of selfless inspiring genuine and charismatic person that Hooch was," she said.

Hoosock was a 16-year veteran in the Sheriff’s Department, rising to the rank of lieutenant, and working in the bomb squad and criminal investigation unit, among other things. He was also a volunteer firefighter and medic in several communities in central New York.

The mass ended with an emergency dispatcher, reading a memorial, describing Hoosock’s highly decorated career and describing Hoosock as a calm, even-keeled public servant, who was a wealth of knowledge to all who asked, who could bring levity to any situation, and who saved lives.

"He will forever be a role model for so many, and he will forever be missed," the dispatcher said. "For the final time, Unit 45L2, Lieutenant Michael Hoosock, out of service."

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.