By Josh Fiallo
Tampa Bay Times
TAMPA, Florida — Tears rolled down the officers’ cheeks Wednesday afternoon as they saluted a hearse entering District 3 of the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office.
Inside was the body of Abigail Bieber, a 30-year-old sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed by her detective boyfriend on Saturday while vacationing with other officers in St. Augustine.
Bieber’s mother, Sarah Bieber, cried when the hearse arrived. She walked over to a poster photo of her daughter, wearing flowers, and placed them on a Sheriff’s Office truck before pulling the poster tight to her chest.
Deputies stood at attention as a bagpipe played. Once ordered to be at ease, many of them wept too, comforting each other as they approached the photo.
The stop at District 3, 7202 Gunn Hwy in Citrus Park, was a brief stop for a motorcade carrying Bieber’s body from St. Augustine to a funeral home in Clearwater.
In the procession through the state were her two brothers, both Clearwater Police officers, Ben and Daniel Bieber.
Also in Wednesday’s procession were Bieber’s father, Bruce Bieber, and her German Shepherd, Louie.
Bieber worked as a patrol officer in northwest Hillsborough and was a passionate advocate for child victims. She aspired to work as a detective in the office’s Special Victims Department.
Bieber was murdered Saturday at a rental beach house in St. Augustine. Hillsborough detective Daniel Leyden, 31, shot her and then himself after others in the house overheard the two arguing in a bedroom, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office released few details about the shooting and did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Before hearing gunshots, neighbors saw officers evacuate people through the windows of the second-floor beach rental and yelled at a man to come out with his hands on his head.
Sheriff Chad Chronister said before the hearse’s arrival in District 3 that Bieber’s death was the result of domestic violence and not a mental health issue.
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“This is that horrific, tragic crime of anger and passion, and that’s what has to stop,” Chronister said.
Funeral arrangements for Bieber have not yet been released.
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