PLANO, Texas - Friends, family, fellow officers and strangers came together to remember a Little Elm police detective killed in the line of duty.
Detective Jerry Walker was shot last Tuesday as he responded to a call of a man with a gun in a neighborhood. He is the first Little Elm police officer to be killed in the line of duty.
Thousands of people lined the streets in the afternoon to honor Walker as his body was taken to Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano for Monday night’s visitation.
Before the crowds lined up in Little Elm to pay their respects to Det. Walker, a shrine of sorts continues to grow inside the lobby of the Little Elm Police Department.
“Community members just want to come in and speak to somebody and tell them stories about how Jerry touched their lives, and they’re just looking for an ear,” said Janice Harrison, the police chief’s wife.
Carol Hinojosa, whose husband is a Euless police officer, brought her service dog to the police department on to give comfort to folks who need it.
“It fills my heart to know that I’m adding a little comfort,” she said. “This is Hofer. He was named after Officer David Hofer who was killed last year in March in Euless. He's going to pass out the love and hugs to the family here.”
Officer Hofer was killed in an ambush-style attack similar to the deadly encounter Det. Walker faced. The dog named in his honor wore a vest and was covered in badges from fallen police officers. He recently got one Little Elm.
Little Elm Mayor David Hillock says what happened on Monday has him questioning his own reaction last summer when five Dallas officers died in ambush shootings.
"Of course I was saddened by it and it was heartbreaking and it was a horrible thing. But I feel guilty now that I didn't inconvenience myself more based on what people are doing in memory of Jerry Walker,” he said. “It's an amazing thing to see this many people take time out of their day and their life and over the last week to truly give of themselves because of what this man gave for all of us."
Christina Juarez and her fiancé, Sam Timmes, are friends with Walker's oldest son, Darren. They made a shirt with Walker's badge numbers and the words, 'always in our hearts.' They spent the morning getting every officer in the Little Elm Police Department to sign it.
“Seeing someone like that go is really upsetting,” Juarez said.
“It’s something better than a card,” Timmes said. “It shows our appreciation, our sincerity. Shows that we actually care.”
“This is Little Elm,” Harrison said. “This is how they are. This is our community.”
Det. Walker's funeral will be at Prestonwood Baptist Church on Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m.