Nevada Highway Patrol Soldier Micah May remembers in Las Vegas



Nevada Highway Patrol Soldier Micah May was uncomfortable receiving recognition for his accomplishments, his best friend said because he believed he was only doing his job.

But on Friday, the Las Vegas Valley stopped to remember the 46-year-old father-of-two and 13-year-old highway patrol veteran who died last week after being struck in a vehicle chase . Band marquees flashed his face and traffic stopped as law enforcement officers and first responders from across the valley escorted his body to a memorial service in a Henderson, where hundreds of people packed a church to hear about May’s life.

“Micah was a true silent guard with a warrior spirit,” May’s best friend, the retired Highway Patrol Sgt. Russ Marco, told the mourning crowd and row after row of uniformed officers.

May died two days after being struck by a stolen car on July 27 during a chase on Interstate 15. He was attempting to deploy “stop sticks” intended to puncture the tires of the stolen vehicle near Charleston Boulevard said the Highway Patrol.

On Friday morning, a mile-long procession escorted May’s body from Palm Mortuary-Downtown, 1325 N. Main St., to the memorial service at Henderson Central Church, 1001 New Beginnings Drive.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers and vehicles followed the hearse to the church and greeted it as it was brought inside for service, including officers from the outside the state. An honor guard and bagpipers escorted the American flag draped casket, with May’s wife Joanna marching behind.

After the memorial service, another procession took May’s body to a public service near the grave at Palm Mortuary-Eastern, 7600 S. Eastern Ave.

“Character and commitment”

May’s death was a “wake-up call” for law enforcement, Highway Patrol Col. Anne Carpenter told the crowd at the memorial service.

“It’s something a soldier always tries to mentally prepare for, but this tragedy took everyone’s words,” she said. “It takes character and commitment to put the lives of others before our own, which is why we must remember and honor our dead.”

Carpenter announced that May received two certificates of commendation – a Medal of Bravery and a Purple Heart – in honor of her death in the line of duty. He had previously received an award “Benevolent enough to make a difference” for his dedication to stopping impaired drivers, and another medal of bravery for a car chase in 2012 “similar to the one that claimed his life,” he said. Carpenter said.

After her death, May saved four more lives when her heart, liver and both kidneys were donated, she said.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman told May’s family the 46-year-old was a “role model” who has put his life in danger on several occasions.

“We realize that … sometimes throughout life the rarest human being presents himself among us – an individual who stands alone as a deeply caring, sensitive, loyal, loving, honorable person and a model of humanity. exemplary, ”Goodman said. .

‘Love for each other’

May’s younger brothers and his best friend told the story of a man who took his job seriously but liked to have fun. Videos and footage released to the crowd showed May dancing with her children, playing in the snow, or striking a silly pose.

“Micah was especially funny, and a timed one-liner was his specialty,” said Marco. “He loved being part of a fun time, with real laughs, big smiles and love for each other.”

May grew up in the small town of Greenfield, Massachusetts, where he loved the snow and the cold, according to his obituary. His brother, Paul May, said he spent his childhood playing in the woods, watching his older brother climb the tallest trees they could find and hiding from Micah’s BB pistol.

Paul May said that when he and his brother were children, their mother tried to explain Heaven. He imagined people kneeling in the clouds staring down at him.

“I’d like to think he’s been up there for a week and a half, sticking his head out of the clouds and daredevil jumps between them, while mischievously bringing rain and rainbows to Las Vegas.” said Paul May. his voice broke with emotion.

According to May’s obituary, he took a test for highway patrol in 2008 to fulfill his “dream” of being in law enforcement. His job brought him to Nevada, which led him to his wife.

He met Joanna May on Tropicana Avenue and on US Highway 95, “where he may or may not have stopped her for speeding,” the obituary reads. The couple had two young children, Raylan and Melody.

At the funeral service on Friday afternoon, May’s casket was again escorted by uniformed officers and pipers, and he was honored with a three-volley salute.

Before the casket was lowered to the grave, Joanna May and her children had a few moments alone with Micah May, each holding a white rose.

Raylan stared intently at the coffin when his turn came. The young boy looked around for a few seconds, then back to his mother, before letting go of the rose. He quickly grabbed his mother’s hand and held it tight.

One last call

Before being struck by the stolen vehicle last week, May and other soldiers were responding to an armed hijacking call near Sunset Road and Las Vegas Boulevard. The carjacker, identified as Douglas Claiborne, 60, led authorities in a chase as he drove erratically on the freeway, dodging six sets of stop sticks meant to slow him down, police said. Las Vegas.

May was pulling out the seventh set of stopping sticks when Claiborne rounded them and bumped into May. He continued to drive for about a mile with May trapped in the vehicle’s windshield, police said.

Soldiers stopped Claiborne by crashing into his vehicle, and police shot him dead as he attempted to seize May’s gun, Las Vegas police said.

Data on file with the FBI shows May was the second Nevada soldier to die in the line of duty in nearly three decades and the 12th in total.

May is survived by his wife and two children; his parents, Edwin and Katherine; and his brothers, Seth and Paul, according to his obituary.

At the end of the memorial service at Henderson Church, an honor guard slowly folded the American flag draped over May’s casket, which would be presented to Joanna. A dispatcher’s voice echoed over the church speakers, asking May to answer for a final call. Nobody answered.

“Good God sir,” she said. “Rest in peace. We have it from here.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at [email protected] or 702-383-0240. To follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal intern Mathew Miranda contributed to this report.


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