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Family, friends, Hillsdale community remember Deputy William "Bill" Butler Jr.

Hillsdale County deputy William Butler
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 03, 2024

HILLSDALE, Mich. — This week, neighbors in Hillsdale are coming together to honor and remember Deputy William "Bill" Butler Jr.

WATCH: Funeral services and procession for Deputy William Butler Jr.

    Services for Deputy Butler were held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Hillsdale College. People then lined the streets as a procession made it way through Hillsdale.
    Then, on Thursday, neighbors will gather once again to honor Deputy Butler at a vigil outside the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office. The public is asked to arrive by 8 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the vigil will be moved to the Dawn Theater.

    We've seen several signs of community support in the past week. Community members have honored the fallen deputy with flowers and a stencil on the sheriff's department's sign, and Sheriff Scott Hodshire wants to update a memorial outside the department that honors two deputies who were killed in the line of duty.

    WATCH: NEIGHBORS LEAVE LOVE AND SUPPORT FOR FALLEN HILLSDALE COUNTY DEPUTY

    Neighbors honor and remember Hillsdale County deputy killed in the line of duty

    Butler was fatally shot while responding to a traffic stop on June 27 in Jefferson Township.

    Law enforcement says that the man who shot Butler, 34-year old Eric Fiddler, of Jonesville, ran from police into a wooded area near Lamb Road & Beecher Road. Three hours later, law enforcement found Fiddler two-and-a-half miles away. When they approached Fiddler, he fired a gunshot. Police fired back, killing him at the scene. Butler died from his injuries at a local hospital.

    "It was a new experience for me," said Sheriff Scott Hodshire. "I never want to experience that again.

    WATCH: HILLSDALE COUNTY SHERIFF SCOTT HODSHIRE REACTS TO BUTLER'S DEATH

    SHERIFF SCOTT HODSHIRE FULL INT

    Neighbors told us that Deputy Butler had a big impact on the community.

    The last time Desiree Blair saw her friend Bill Butler Jr was a few weeks at the place they first met in 2008: a Kroger parking lot.

    "He actually helped me load my groceries into the car," Blair recalled.

    Blair says she grew up and attended high school with two of Butler's children. When her father died, Blair says Butler offered comfort and guidance.

    "Butler really helped me focus on my mental health and to see what my best route in life was during that time while also finding out that I was going to be a mother," Blair said. "Without him, I'm not sure I would've made it that far."

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