Most of these people outside the Virtue Feed and Grain Restaurant in Alexandria Sunday didn't know each other.
A lot didn't know Officer Peter Laboy either.
But they were drawn there Sunday for a fundraiser in his honor after hearing the story of his incredible bravery and will to live after being shot in the face during a traffic stop last month.
"I was visiting him yesterday for an hour. He's getting better, but he has a long way to go," Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille says.
And the fundraiser-- will go a long way to help his family see him through.
Businesses throughout the community donated all kinds of sporting goods and memorabilia for a silent auction that lured people from across the region here.
Police Chief Earl Cook says it warms his heart seeing just how much his officers mean to the community.
"I'm overjoyed, and I am thrilled for the family," Chief Cook says.
It took some people two hours to get in, but no one got out of the line.
Why did we wait in line? Because of everything Officer Laboy did for the community," Gwencarol Holmes says. "We want to give back."
And as they walked past the motorcycle Officer Laboy rode on the job, buffed to a brilliant shine by his friends on the force. Many in this crowd say this tragedy has drawn the community closer together.
"The support of the community is overwhelming," Norbert Butler says.
The officer's wife continues to post updates on his progress on the hospital's Caringbridge website. It's been viewed more than 39,000 times so far.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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