Funeral held for St. Louis County Detective Antonio Valentine


ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Hundreds of people attended the funeral for St. Louis County Detective Antonio Valentine, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this month.

Friends, family members, and fellow law enforcement officers said their final goodbyes during Friday morning’s service at Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End.

In an emotional speech, St. Louis County Police Chief Kenneth Gregory called Valentine a hero to law enforcement. He said the police department is grieving alongside Valentine’s family.

“Our police family has lost a good comrade,” said Gregory. “Our department has lost a good officer. However, Antonio’s family has forever lost a son, a father a nephew, and a brother — and we grieve with them. “

Valentine was killed on Dec. 1 after a driver in a stolen sedan crashed into his unmarked police vehicle near Crete Drive and Chambers Road in Bellefontaine Neighbors. Moments before the crash, Drug Unit Detectives attempted to stop the sedan for an investigation.

Valentine was rushed to Barnes Jewish Hospital, where he died from his injuries. Another detective, who was in the vehicle with Valentine, was treated at the hospital and later released.

Police identified the driver of the other car as 33-year-old Alfred Mayes. He also died from his injuries in the crash. Investigators said Mayes was driving a stolen Jetta.

Valentine’s uncle, Scott, said the fallen detective cared deeply for his family. He leaves behind four children ranging in age from 10 to 22.

“He would often come over to my house, and we would sit in my kitchen, and he’d tell me, ‘Uncle Scott, if anything happens to me, make sure my children are taken care of,'” he said during the funeral. “When I got that word on Dec. 1, that’s all I could think of, ‘Make sure my children are taken care of. Jaylan, Alesha, Antonio Jr., Victoria, your dad is gone but he lives on in me.”

Valentine joined the police force in 2007 and was most recently assigned to the Bureau of Drug Enforcement. He was also an Army veteran who served in Iraq. Valentine, 42, was a 14-year veteran of the St. Louis County Police Department.

During his time with the department, Antonio served in the Transit Unit, Neighborhood Enforcement Team Auto Crime Unite, and Drug Unite.

He also received several accolades related to his achievements. He was 42 years old.

Following Friday’s service, Valentine was laid to rest at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

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