Edgecombe deputy laid to rest

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Officers carry Deputy Sheriff David Lee’Sean Manning Sunday afternoon at Edgecombe Community College in Tarboro.


Staff Writer

Monday, March 19, 2018

TARBORO — An Edgecombe County deputy was laid to rest on Sunday, a week after the fatal wreck that claimed his life while he was on duty.

More than 1,000 people attended the funeral of Deputy David Lee’Sean Manning, including more than 400 law enforcement officers from local agencies and agencies across the state. The funeral service was held in the Keihin Auditorium on the campus of Edgecombe Community College, where Manning had received his Basic Law Enforcement Training just a few months before. Manning completed his BLET training on Oct. 24 and was sworn in as an Edgecombe County deputy on Nov. 8. His end of watch was March 11.

Bernie Taylor, the director of BLET training at Edgecombe Community College, said at the funeral that Manning pursued his goal of becoming a law enforcement officer with passion and perseverance and was thrilled to become a deputy with the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office.

“I don’t believe I have ever seen David smile as big as he did that day,” Taylor said. “There he stood proudly and took his oath of office to become that deputy sheriff with the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office.”

Edgecombe County Sheriff Clee Atkinson was emotional as he spoke at the funeral, especially as he addressed his own deputies.

“This hurts,” Atkinson said. “I can’t tell you guys not to cry. I can’t tell you guys not to second guess the situation and think about the ‘what ifs.’ But I can tell you guys all things work together for the good of God. I can tell you that the Lord of my light and my salvation.”

Atkinson also offered words of faith and hope to his deputies, the family and the community.

“We had a really bad storm last night. But today is a beautiful day,” Atkinson said. “The sun is shining and storm came through last night. I can tell you that we can make it through the storm. God brought us to this and he will surely guide us through it.”

Atkinson told his deputies and the family that they should take a measure of comfort in the way Manning lived and died.

“This young brother was living his dream,” Atkinson said. “He lived enjoying what he was doing and he died doing what he loved.”

Manning died at the scene of a fatal collision last Sunday night as he was in pursuit of another vehicle traveling north on N.C. 111. Manning’s car collided head-on with a Chevrolet Silverado as Manning turned to make the pursuit. Individuals in that car received non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said earlier this week at a news conference.

Manning, 24, leaves behind a fiance and a young daughter as well as numerous other family members. Lt. E.W. Muse of the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Department said that the family is being provided for.

“The family is being well taken care of financially,” Muse said. “In addition, the community has offered up a large outpouring of support for the family and the sheriff’s office at this time.”

After the funeral service on Sunday, which lasted nearly two hours, Manning was buried with full honors in Pinetops, his hometown.