NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – More than 1,000 police officers from all over the country paid tribute to a Newark police detective killed while trying to protect someone else.

Members of the Newark Police Department carried the body of 32-year-old Detective Michael Morgan Jr. at his funeral at Saint Lucy’s Church Saturday.

Morgan died a hero, which was not surprising to those who knew him, who say his job was always his calling.

“This is what he wanted all his life to do,” said friend George Krusznis of Belleville. “Huge loss for all of us. He was a really, really good man.”

Morgan was off-duty when he was murdered at walking a dancer to her car at Sunrise Gentlemen’s Club in Paterson. That’s when, police say, Jerome Wright and girlfriend Nashali Gadson tried to rob the woman.

Morgan intervened, but was gunned down and later died at the hospital.

His grieving family and members of the Newark PD said their final goodbyes to the young man who was quickly moving through the ranks.

“He was one of the best, the better cops that I’ve known. If something was occuring, he would be the first one to respond and back you up and he was there, and it was a great feeling to know he was by your side,” said Sgt. Louis Cantel.

Morgan’s brother Vincent eulogized him, calling him a friend and a father figure.

“How posied he was, how strong he was, I just can’t get over how he put it all together and got through it all,” Krusznis said of Vincent.

The two suspects are still in Pennsylvania being held on a $1.5 million bail each. If found guilty, they could face 30 years to life behind bars. The prosecutor says the investigation continues and that they may be looking for other suspects.

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