ROLLA, Mo. (KSDK) - There are heavy hearts in Missouri and Illinois after a funeral for a local soldier.
Sgt. Timothy Owens was killed in the April 2 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas. Owens was born in Effingham, Ill. and went to high school in Rolla, Mo.
On Saturday, the Rolla community paid tribute to Owens for the final time.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the First Baptist Church to pay their final respects. Many of them had never met Sgt. Owens or his family.
"I believe it means a lot to everybody in this community to know that somebody from small-town Missouri has that kind of support behind them," said Air Force ROTC cadet Jonathan James.
"It's just an extremely humbling experience to see a community like this come together," added cadet Jared Applebaum.
The father of a young girl in the crowd is currently stationed at Fort Hood. She and her mom felt it was their duty to come say goodbye to Sgt. Owens.
"We've taken her to a couple of these to try to show her that this is what we do to show our support for the family of the fallen soldier," Nicky Damaso said.
The nearly 100 members of the Patriot Guard Riders who escorted Sgt. Owens' casket to his final resting place say it's their honor to be a part of such a solemn occasion.
"You know, we're here first and foremost for the family and to honor the fallen," said Ride Captain Mark Williams. "But we all share one common bond and that is love of country. We love motorcycles and we love our troops and our first responders. And that's why we're here."
Sgt. Owens was laid to rest at Lake Spring Cemetery outside Rolla. He was buried beside his brother.