Mourners by the hundreds said goodbye to Vermilion Parish Deputy Allen Bares Jr. on Friday, many of them lining La. 14 to wave American flags in a pouring rain as the funeral procession made its way from Abbeville to Erath, where Bares lived with his family.

Officers in uniforms from police agencies big and small, from Lafayette to Gueydan, Ouachita Parish to Pollock, lined the road fronting St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, saluting the American flag-draped casket carrying Bares.

“It’s such a tragedy. He was such a nice kid,” said Jane Robicheaux, whose cousin, Lynn Bares, is the deputy’s mother.

Bares was a 12-year law enforcement veteran, mostly spent with the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office. He was killed Monday afternoon when he encountered two Abbeville men suspected of burglarizing a home near where Bares was cutting grass on his day off. Bares was shot and died Monday evening at Abbeville General Hospital.

Police arrested the pair — Quintylan Richard, 20, and Baylan Taylor, 19, — each on various counts including first-degree murder. Court records show that on May 1, Richard had recently received a “good time” parole and was released from a prison in Tensas Parish, where he had been sentenced to three years at hard labor for burglary. Richard served less than half the sentence before he was paroled.

“Evil does not have the last word,” Father Kenneth Mayne told churchgoers who filled the pews at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church.

Those who remained outside during the service sought shelter from the drenching rain by standing under expansive oak trees on church grounds.

“He was very kind, caring and passionate,” said Cindy Triche, who runs a shelter for battered women called Faith House.

Triche said Bares often helped the shelter while on his days off from the Sheriff’s Office.

“He was very understanding of what the survivor (of domestic violence) was going through,” Triche said.

Trailing Bares’ coffin into St. Mary Magdalen Church was his wife of 25 years, Tina, her face worn by days of weeping. Near Tina Bares’ was their daughter, Amy, a private first class in the National Guard, and their young son, James.

State Police Trooper 1st Class Stephen Hammons said police representing departments in Texas, Minnesota, New York and Mississippi were in Abbeville on Friday to pay their respects to the fallen deputy.

After the Mass, hundreds of police cars formed a procession that ran down La. 14 to Erath, where Bares was buried at Our Lady of Lourdes Cemetery.

People parked their cars and lined the eastbound and westbound lanes for miles along the route, waving American flags even as sheets of rain at times blew sideways. At one spot, the procession ran under an American flag hoisted by the ladders of two fire trucks.

The man police have said is the gunman — Quintylan Richard — is being held without bail in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. His alleged accomplice, Baylan Taylor, is being held in the Acadia Parish Jail.

Two suspects believed to have helped Richard elude capture for a time also were jailed. Quintygi Richard and Miguel Cormier were booked into the Vermilion Parish Jail on counts of accessory after the fact in a first-degree murder. Bond for each was set at $100,000.