Mom of Slain 22-Year-Old Shares Heartbreaking Photo of His Dog's Reaction after His Burial

When his owner was tragically killed, a dog proved that the man undoubtedly was his best friend. The pet's actions at the funeral showed everyone that he, too, was mourning. 

Pets have a surprising capacity to process emotions, and a dog named Ace recently demonstrated this through a touching display. His young owner, James William “Will” Warner, was reported dead this month after he was shot.

The 22-year-old from Shelbyville, Tennessee, was not the only victim. His girlfriend also suffered critical wounds but managed to survive the ordeal.

A man is pictured with his beloved dog and after his death the dog lay down on top of his owner's burial plot | Photo: Facebook/Doak-Howell-Funeral-Home & Facebook/juliapalazzoTV

A man is pictured with his beloved dog and after his death the dog lay down on top of his owner's burial plot | Photo: Facebook/Doak-Howell-Funeral-Home & Facebook/juliapalazzoTV

HIS PASSING WAS A SHOCK 

Warner's passing was a shock to his loved ones. His mother shared that she collapsed upon hearing the news. She added: “My whole world was broken into a million pieces.” 

The mother expressed her son was a "larger than life" character. His death left many reeling, but it was his pet's special display of love and loss that had everyone talking.

A man and his loyal canine companion sit next to a river prior to the dog owner's death | Photo: Youtube/WKRN News 2

A man and his loyal canine companion sit next to a river prior to the dog owner's death | Photo: Youtube/WKRN News 2

DOG GOT CLOSE TO HIS OWNER 

At the funeral, the dog attempted to get closer to his owner. He positioned himself on top of the burial plot. The dog's final goodbye has touched many. 

Photos of Ace and Warner show the pair's special bond and the real love between them. In Will's obituary, Ace was called a “faithful friend and loyal companion,”  and there is little doubt about this statement. 

A young man who was tragically shot dead is pictured before his death enjoying nature as a racoon sits on his head | Photo: Youtube/WKRN News 2

A young man who was tragically shot dead is pictured before his death enjoying nature as a racoon sits on his head | Photo: Youtube/WKRN News 2

TRAGIC INCIDENT 

Will’s uncle, Tennessee state Rep. Todd Warner called the death a tragic incident that "should’ve never happened.” Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has named the murder suspect as 25-year-old Samuel Earl Rich.

The suspect is being held in Bedford County while the authorities conduct their investigation. Warner's family is still grieving their huge loss, as is his dog. 

A young man who was killed is pictured prior to his death as he pets a wild animal | Photo: Youtube/WKRN News 2

A young man who was killed is pictured prior to his death as he pets a wild animal | Photo: Youtube/WKRN News 2

ONLINE REACTIONS 

The dog's display of affection at  Mt. Lebanon Cemetery caused netizens to share their support for the family. One user stated: "Prayers for this family and his friends, including other victim shot."

Another added that the photo was difficult to look at. Netizens expressed their deepest sympathies, and one user said: "Such a tragedy!!! As a mother, I can't imagine!! Our Condolences." 

Netizens are heartbroken after hearing the news of a man's tragic passing | Photo: Facebook.com/juliapalazzoTV

Netizens are heartbroken after hearing the news of a man's tragic passing | Photo: Facebook.com/juliapalazzoTV

MESSAGES OF LOVE 

Users sent messages of love to Will and outlined details about his personality. One commenter stated: "Love you, Will!! Thank you for being the light and happiness that you were ..."  

Someone else shared their hopes that the family would see justice soon. They said:

"I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a child is the hardest thing that can happen to anyone. Praying for peace and comfort for your entire family and may justice come swiftly." 

Commenters react to news of a young man's passing after he was shot dead | Photo: Facebook/Doak-Howell-Funeral-Home

Commenters react to news of a young man's passing after he was shot dead | Photo: Facebook/Doak-Howell-Funeral-Home

JUSTICE 

Detectives working on the case have purported that on the night of the terrible murder, Warner was taken to the crime scene, brutally shot, and left outside in the street. 

Warner's alleged killer was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wanted list. While they will never get Warner back, the family certainly deserves justice for his death.   

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