'He served others': Thousands gather to honor fallen York Co. detective

Thousands gathered to pay their respects to fallen York County Detective Mike R. Doty Monday during a celebration of life.

YORK COUNTY, S.C. -- Thousands gathered to pay their respects to fallen York County Detective Mike R. Doty Monday during a celebration of life.

The procession from York County began before noon, as Doty's casket was transported from Rock Hill's Greene Funeral Home to Calvary Church in south Charlotte. Following Doty's funeral, the slain deputy was laid to rest at Forest Hills Cemetery in Rock Hill.

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The ceremony was filled with emotional stories about Doty, including several tales from York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson and Reverend Barry Yates.

"In the worlds of Mike's twin brother Chris, he told me, 'Despite the fact that Mike walks around with a scowl on his face 90 percent of the time, he's really a happy guy,'" Tolson said. "I believe that to be true. Mike had a tremendous love for people and that was shown through his unrelenting work and passion for the opioid crisis that we face today. There was no person more passionate about that in our office than Mike and he initiated our Narcan program last year."

"There were two boys, Mike and Chris. They were born at 26 weeks. Twenty-six weeks!" Yates declared. "They were two pounds apiece.

"It was a time when most babies would have died, but God had a plan."

Tolson went on to share several light-hearted stories about Doty's quirks and fun-loving personality.

"He was the kind of guy that asked the waiter or waitress about every dish on a complicated Italian menu and then say, 'I'll just have the spaghetti,'" he said. "I know that Mike would want me to say some real light-hearted remarks about him because that was Mike.

"If you were Mike's friend, Mike would tell you the truth, no matter what it was. It might hurt your feelings, but later on, you'd go, 'you know what, he's right.'"

Doty was shot in the line of duty during an overnight incident early Tuesday morning. He died Wednesday from his injuries.

Doty's brother Joshua spoke during the ceremony, saying it was only fitting that Mike died while running toward danger to save those in need.

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"My brother was a servant. He served others," Joshua said. "That was how he loved.

"One of Mike's last wishes was to be an organ donor," Joshua said. "We hope that his donation will save lives."

Communities across the area, as well as emergency crews, paid tribute to Doty along the procession route to the cemetery following the ceremony.

NBC Charlotte's crew reports over 100 people were seen standing at Forest Hills Cemetery Monday afternoon, the final resting place for Doty.

Three other officers were shot alongside Doty. Sgt. Randy Clinton and Sgt. Kyle Cummings are both recovering at home as of Sunday night. Officials say Sgt. Buddy Brown had another procedure Sunday and remains in the hospital.

Detective Doty began working at the sheriff’s office in 2006. He was an investigator with the York County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit and the Law Enforcement Officer Narcan (LEON) Program coordinator.

“He has done so much work in this community fighting the opioid crisis, and he would be proud,” said Tolson.

The local community gathered Sunday to mourn the loss of one of their own. A memorial was held in downtown York to honor Doty.

People who knew Doty and many who didn't know him gathered at the memorial to honor his life.

Marie Burkhart, an explorer Doty trained through the Explorer Post 1786 program, told NBC Charlotte she came to the memorial to show appreciation for Doty's services to the community.

"I want everybody to realize what an asset he was," Burkhart said. "The [incident] has shown that there are good cops."

"Detective Doty was one of many good cops out there," she added.

"I'm happy that Mike had so much pride to let everyone know who he truly was and the kind of man he was and what he believed," Tolson lamented. "To Mike's family, who had him for 37 years, I want to thank you for loaning him to us, the sheriff's office, for the 12 short years that you gave him to us."

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