Chick-fil-A honors slain Virginia trooper, a regular customer, for 'paying the ultimate price'

Employees at a Chick-fil-A restaurant are mourning the death of a true hero — Virginia State Trooper and regular customer Lucas Dowell — after the officer was killed in the line of duty this week.

The Chick-fil-A, located on Wards Road in Lynchburg, Va., set up a makeshift memorial inside their restaurant to honor Dowell's memory.

"Our hearts are saddened at the tragic loss of Trooper Lucas Dowell," the fast food joint wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. "Trooper Dowell was a regular patron of ours, serving and protecting our community. We are grieving along with his family, friends, and colleagues. Thank you, Lucas, for giving your all and paying the ultimate price."

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Dowell, 28, was fatally shot while assisting in serving a narcotics search warrant after a Cumberland County resident opened fire on the trooper and two other officers on Monday night, Virginia State Police said in a news statement. The man who was the subject of the drug investigation was also killed in the shootout, authorities confirmed.

Part of the trooper's uniform, including his hat, a picture and plaque are now on display on a table toward the front of the restaurant.

Virginia State Trooper Lucas Dowell, 28, was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 4, 2019.

Virginia State Trooper Lucas Dowell, 28, was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 4, 2019. (Virginia State Police)

Several Chick-fil-A customers thanked the Chik-fil-A staff for giving the 4-year veteran "special recognition."

"Chick-fil-A thank you for honoring Lucas with this memorial. He will be missed. Rest easy and in peace brother[,] we will hold the thin blue line until we meet again," one customer commented on the restaurant's Facebook post.

"Thank you for your continued support and more importantly going the extra mile with this beautiful tribute. You lead by example. May God continue to bless you as a company and your employees," a public safety officer added. The restaurant replied, thanking the man for "all that you do."

Another man said he witnessed two Virginia State troopers place patches on the stand.

"So much respect,' he added.

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The Lynchburg Chik-fil-A said they, too, watched the act and were "moved to tears" by it.

Dowell was a patrol officer and member of the Appomattox Division Tactical Team (equal to a SWAT Team). He is survived by his parents and sister, Virginia State Police said.