Hundreds Attend Funeral For Bank Of Eufaula President Killed In Robbery
EUFAULA, Oklahoma - A community said goodbye to a beloved bank president who was killed during an armed robbery.
Police say Cedric Norris shot Randy Peterson Thursday morning without saying a word. Norris went on to shoot another employee before taking a bank customer hostage.
Norris was killed during a shootout with police and his hostage was wounded.
Tuesday, about 1,000 people showed up to pay their respects to Mr. Peterson.
The pastor said Peterson's family and the community have been thrust into the spotlight by the tragedy, not by choice. He said, when it comes down to it, they're simple people who live simple lives, have faith and love their families.
Normally at 11:00 on a Tuesday morning, Eufaula’s Main Street would be lined with parked cars and traffic, but, instead, almost all the shops were shut down, schools were closed and flags were at half-staff.
There was a heaviness in the air of grief and heartache as an entire town said goodbye to a man so well-known and so loved, that the local radio station, KFOX 102.5, broadcast his funeral live on the air and online for those who couldn't attend.
“We are gathered here today because of the great love with have for Randy and his family,” the said at the funeral.
The pastor said Peterson was the rock of his family, and Eufaula; a steward of the community, who spent years working to build the town up.
Most knew him as the Bank of Eufaula president. He spent 36 years working there - more than half his life.
He had a wife, two daughters and four grandchildren, but Peterson also had a way of making friends feel like family, too.
His friends said "they don't make ‘em like Randy anymore," just a good guy who was down to earth, humble and hated confrontation.
The service honored the way Peterson lived, not the way he died. Though, there was a moment of appreciation for those who put their lives on the line that day.
“On behalf of the family, I'd like to thank all the first responders and all the law enforcements for their brave and valiant acts to help us and protect us,” they said at the funeral.
The town has truly come together.
Tuesday, the library offered free child care, and a group of women cooked dinner for all the responding officers last Thursday.
And, because almost all the Eufaula officers attended the funeral, officers from other cities came in to patrol the town.