STANLEY, Va. (WHSV) - Many community members came together Saturday to honor the life of Stanley Police Officer Dominic “Nick” Winum.
Winum was killed in the line of duty Friday afternoon.
According to Virginia State Police, Winum initiated a traffic stop along the 600 block of Judy Lane in Stanley, but before he could get out of the vehicle, the driver got out and opened fire.
Just a few hours later, community members began a tribute outside of the Stanley Police Department for Winum. Throughout the day Saturday, the tribute grew as many came by to lay flowers, hand-made mementos and even ice cream at the police building.
Virginia State Trooper Brandon Tester, Winum’s best friend, visited the police department and placed a Virginia State Police patch on the police department’s window.
“Very shocked. He was a really good guy. Treated everybody with utmost respect, so you couldn’t ask for a better officer,” Tester said.
Winum served in the Virginia State Police for 10 years and was Tester’s field training officer, shift partner and neighbor.
“I’m proud to know that he had such an impact on the community that people come out here and put all this out. It’s a good feeling to see that people out here really support the police. It means a lot to me as a fellow officer and a fellow trooper,” Tester said.
Tester said he was with Officer Winum’s wife Friday afternoon and spoke to his four kids, who were located all over the United States for work and school.
Many in the community and throughout the state are grieving the loss of Officer Winum, some saying they’d never thought something like this would happen in the small town.
“He was a good guy and a good officer, and he will be missed,” Tester said.
Saturday evening community members stood on Main Street in Luray to show support and pay their respects during a motorcade for Winum. Winum was transported from Manassas to Bradley Funeral Home in Luray.
“That’s one of the advantages of a small town is, you know, everybody tries to look out for their neighbor. You know, they make you a part of their family. They make you a part of their daily lives, and when somebody is affected it affects your family as well, you know. And it’s not about just getting through it’s a matter of the support after the fact as well. That the love continues and that the support continues because it’s a long road, it’s a long road. So with love and prayer it will get better,” Melody McConnell, a Stanley resident, said.
Community members created a GoFundMe for any expenses Winum’s family may have. If you wish to donate, you can do so here.