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Widows Weep As Slain Officers Are Buried

January 17, 1987

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) _ The widows of two slain police officers wept as ″Taps″ was played at the men’s funeral, which drew law enforcement officials from across the state.

Fort Pierce Police Lt. Grover Clifton Cooper and officer James Wouters, gunned down in a drug raid, were buried side-by-side Friday at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens cemetery.

Widows Susan Cooper and Michele Wouters received flags that had draped the caskets. They were joined by about 3,000 mourners at the Fort Pierce National Guard armory.

The funeral entourage consisted of 70 police officers on motorcycles followed by more than 500 cars, forming a procession nearly 10 miles long. Representatives of more than 100 law enforcement agencies attended services.

Cooper, who is survived by a son and daughter, was promoted posthumously to captain. Wouters, who left a daughter, was promoted to sergeant.

Cooper, 31, and Wouters, 33, both members of a Fort Pierce undercover vice unit, were gunned down Monday when they burst into a rural mobile home in nearby White City.

A third member of the team, Officer Robert Spring, 32, remained in fair condition Friday at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center here.

James Daniel Hunt, 47, was also killed in the shootout. Ralph William Horton, 25, of Fort Pierce, Hunt’s stepson, has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of the officers.

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