Nevada Soldier Killed in Pursuit Has ‘Spirit of a Warrior’
LAS VEGAS (AP) – A Nevada Highway Patrol Soldier who died in the line of duty last week is remembered Friday as a soft-spoken father with a “warrior spirit” who grew up in rural Massachusetts and living since 2008 in the Las Vegas area.
“Good deeds of good officers will always be remembered, as they should be,” PSN Col. Anne Carpenter told hundreds of people, many in law enforcement uniforms, who filled a church the size of an arena in the suburb of Henderson to remember Private Micah David May. .
May had “an impeccable work ethic,” Carpenter said. He specialized in the identification and arrest of impaired drivers and won a Medal of Valor in 2014 for a New Years Eve pursuit similar to the one that claimed his life.
“Micah was a true silent guardian, with a warrior spirit,” said May’s best friend, retired PSN Sgt. Russell Marco. “He loved (his wife) Joanna dearly, and his children Raylan and Melody were his world.”
“He appreciated the recognition for his accomplishments, but was uncomfortable receiving it,” added Marco.
May, 46, a 13-year-old PSN veteran, died July 29 from injuries he sustained two days earlier while trying to deploy a tire deflator in a vehicle chase led by a carjacking suspect on the busy Interstate 15 in Las Vegas.
The car that hit May was then disabled by NHP vehicle collisions, and the driver was shot and killed by law enforcement officers.
The service, with full honors for a death in the line of duty, was broadcast live by the Nevada Department of Public Safety and local television stations.
May was posthumously awarded another Medal of Valor and a Purple Heart. Carpenter, the commander of the highway patrol, noted that four people had received his organs when he died.
May’s brothers Paul May and Seth May remembered growing up in Greenfield, Massachusetts – wading through streams, climbing trees, jumping off the roof into snowdrifts – and once when their 17-year-old brother , who did not have a licensed driver, crashed the family car off a dirt road in a ditch near the Vermont state border.
Seth May, who was 8 or 9 at the time, said he was walking home and never told his parents until this week that he had also made the trip.
Paul May said their childhood image of paradise was of people looking at the living from beyond the clouds. Paul May and Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman both conjured images of rainbows around Micah May.
“He is surely a hero,” the mayor said of Micah May, “a role model, an idol and a champion… who has chosen to be a selfless guardian of others in law enforcement and as a first responder “.
A 90-minute procession of emergency vehicles escorted May’s white hearse from downtown Las Vegas to Central Christian Church – passing the spot on the freeway where it was struck – and down onto Las Vegas Boulevard, where onlookers blocked pedestrian bridges.
The casino marquees and T-Mobile Arena displayed commemorative messages with May’s photo and badge number. The Dodge Charger patrol car he was driving, now decorated with handwritten messages, was parked outside the church where his flag-covered coffin was carried inside.
Another procession led mourners from the church to her burial in a Las Vegas cemetery near McCarran International Airport.
It was May 10 Nevada Highway Patrol trooper or state police officer killed in the line of duty since 1911, and the first since Patrol Sgt. Ben Jenkins was shot and killed by a motorist he stopped to help on a remote national highway in March 2020. The Jenkins assailant recently pleaded guilty but is mentally ill and faces life in prison without the possibility of release conditional at a sentencing hearing in September.
This story has been corrected to show that May was the 10th soldier or state police officer killed in the line of duty since 1911, not 1941.