Visitation held for deputy killed during police pursuit - WNEM TV 5

Visitation held for deputy killed during police pursuit

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Source: CNN Source: CNN
Source: CNN Source: CNN

A family and community paid their respects after a deputy was killed in the line of duty.

Christopher Berak, 22, has been charged with first-degree premeditated homicide and murder of a peace officer.

Late Wednesday night, Berak allegedly walked in the Lapeer County Jail.

"They heard him talking about that he was God and that he was here at the county jail to break out one of his 'sons or followers,’” Sheriff Scott McKenna said.

When he left, deputies went after him.

Deputy Eric Overall, with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, put out stop sticks to help end the chase when Berak allegedly crashed into him on M-15 and Seymore Lake Road.

"It doesn't matter how right or how everything went perfectly through this thing. These deputies - everyone involved -struggle with that because we played a roll in that. Ultimately this man chose to do a deliberate act to kill a deputy, to kill a dad to kill a husband at the drop of the hat,” McKenna said.

On Saturday, Berak’s attorney told the judge he was on probation for attempting to flee and elude law enforcement. His attorney said Berak has been seeing a psychiatrist.

"He has very good parental support. I don't think he's a risk a flight, but judge to be frank, I do understand how serious these charges are,” Attorney Stephen Rabaut said.

"Obviously this is a very serious offense given all the factors that I've outlined on the record. I'm going to deny bond at this time,” the judge replied.

Berak will be back in court Dec. 4 for a probable cause hearing.

Visitation for Overall took place from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27 at Mt. Zion Church in Independence Township. The deputy was a 22-year veteran of the Oakland County Sheriff's Department and lived in Genesee County. He was recently married and had an adult son, officials said. 

While many were impacted by Overall's death, it has been especially tough for the students of Brandon High School in Ortonville.

Overall was a regular fixture at the school for years, serving as a liaison officer who often went above and beyond to help young people in need.

"I want to thank Deputy Overall. Through his family and through his police work, thank him for everything he's done for us. He's always been an inspiration," Superintendent Matt Outlaw said.

Outlaw salutes Overall for his dedication to service.

"He was great. He was just such a caring compassionate person. He was unbelievable. His special talent was that he could connect with children. Students that were older and younger. He always made a difference with them," Outlaw said.

Outlaw said Overall meant so much to so many. He said the students at Brandon High School have heavy hearts.

"It's been really hard on everybody. He had such an impact on kids that went to school here," said Rachel Devine, senior.

Devine has been planning fundraisers to help Overall's family. She said he helped ignite her sister's interest in sports.

"He actually played football with my little sister at recess. He inspired her so much to play football. She's really into it now and it just really changed our family for good," Devine said.

Outlaw said Overall may be gone, but from Burton to Oakland County he will never be forgotten.

"He's a very humble man. Always doing everything he can to help others," Outlaw said.

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