Bismarck sheriff’s deputy laid to restA North Dakota sheriff’s deputy who collapsed and died while helping make an arrest was laid to rest Tuesday. Burleigh County Deputy Bryan Sleeper, 39, died Sept. 28. Preliminary autopsy results indicate he suffered a heart attack.
BISMARCK (AP) — A North Dakota sheriff’s deputy who collapsed and died while helping make an arrest was laid to rest Tuesday.
Burleigh County Deputy Bryan Sleeper, 39, died Sept. 28. Preliminary autopsy results indicate he suffered a heart attack.
Law enforcement officers from around the state who attended Sleeper’s funeral at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bismarck remembered him as an ambitious, energetic deputy who wanted to help others.
“It’s not how Bryan died that made him a hero, it’s how he lived,” Burleigh County Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Schaffer told the crowd gathered in the church.
Members of the public were invited to line the streets from the church to Fairview Cemetery. Sleeper was eulogized as an enthusiastic, energetic man who loved children.
“Bryan chose law enforcement for all the right reasons,” Schaffer told the crowd.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered state agencies to fly the North Dakota and U.S. flags at half-staff from sunrise to sunset Tuesday to “honor (Sleeper) and express our respect and gratitude for his distinguished service.”
Sleeper was sworn in as a deputy in 2007. He was among several officers in the department who later that year were given the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association’s life-saving award for saving a man’s life during a suicide attempt, according to The Bismarck Tribune. He served as the department’s medical training officer and was a member of the West Dakota SWAT team.
Sleeper graduated from Northwood High School and the University of Mary in Bismarck. He is survived by his wife, Lana, three stepchildren and a grandson.
He is the second law officer to die in the line of duty in North Dakota this year. Bismarck Police Sgt. Steve Kenner, 56, was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute on July 8.