GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - The Gwinnett County Police Department honored slain officer Antwan Toney at the 16th annual Fallen Heroes Memorial in Lawrenceville on Monday.
Officer Toney was killed in the line of duty in October 2018, while responding to a call regarding a suspicious vehicle. When Toney approached the car, a man inside the car fired shots at Toney and his partner, striking and killing Toney.
Toney was just six days shy of his third anniversary with the Gwinnett County Police Department. His family said it was his lifelong dream to be a police officer.
At the ceremony Monday, Toney was remembered by fellow members of his department as well as officials from the county and Georgia Military College.
"Antwan had a passion to fight for justice," said Gwinnett County Police Major Cleo Atwater. "Not for himself, but for others." The Major went on to describe Toney as a "hard worker" and "loyal friend" who hoped to bridge the gap between the community and law enforcement.
"Antwan truly wanted to make a difference," said Atwater.
The Fallen Heroes Memorial honors those who have given their lives serving their community and their country. Officer Toney is the first Gwinnett County Police Officer to die in the line of duty since 1993.
Community members said there was something in Toney's smile that compelled them to attend the ceremony to honor him. "I just feel so bad that someone so special was taken away, someone that cared so much was taken away," said Juanita Clark, a community member who was shocked at Toney's death.
Toney's family was unable to attend the ceremony, but the law enforcement officers and community members who did attend said they hoped the family felt their support. "I want his family to know we appreciate him," said Clark.