PUNTA GORDA (WSNN) - A painful goodbye in Punta Gorda today, for a young Charlotte County deputy who died in the line of duty. 

A sad day on the Suncoast as we mourn the loss of Christopher Taylor.

"This is hard; it hurts," said CCSO Sheriff Bill Prummell. "It hurts all of us. And we ask why a promising young man was taken from us so early?"

Hundreds gathered at the Babcock Ranch Field House in Punta Gorda, Wednesday morning to honor Taylor.

"Christopher knew at an early age that law enforcement was what he wanted to do," said Doreen Pereira, Taylor's aunt.

"He was very ambitious, hardworking," said Corporal Shelley Havel, the District 4 Squad C leader of the CCSO. "He was eager to become the best cop he could be."

A young hero is goneway too soon. Days after he turned 23, Taylor was fatally struck on the roadway.

“Chris is one of those brave young men and women who have given all so others can live in peace," said Sheriff Prummell. "Chris's loyalty, courage, and sacrifice will never be forgotten," said Sheriff Prummell.

Last Tuesday, Taylor was conducting a traffic stop when deputies say a drunk driver, traveling way too fast on I-75 hit and killed him.

"A link in our family chain has been broken, but our hearts will remain," said Pereira.

Taylor joined the agency in August, last year and was officially sworn in on February 14. He is survived by his parents, sister, fiancé, and two dogs. And will forever be a brother to those at the agency.

“We consider ourselves family," said Havel.

"He was one of my boys," said Sheriff Prummell

The fallen deputy was remembered at a funeral fit for a hero. The service began with the sounds of the ‘Guns n Hoses Pipes and Drums of Southwest Florida’ and ended with a motorcade of dozens of law enforcement agencies from across the state. 

He was laid to rest at Indian Springs Cemetery, with a private service for his family and friends.

"Chris you will always be in our hearts, and a part of District 4 Squad C," said Havel. "We will continue to honor you and love you. Rest In Peace my brother."

"We love you Christopher," said Pereira.

Taylor will be the fourth deputy added to the remembrance wall at the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.