LITTLE ELM, Texas - For the first time in history, a police officer in Little Elm has been killed in the line of duty. And residents in the Denton County city are grieving.
Detective Jerry Walker was shot Tuesday while responding to a report of an armed man in a neighborhood. That man was found dead inside the house after a six-hour standoff.
Walker, an 18-year veteran of the department, was known for being a role model in the community.
“He was a model officer and a person who will be missed here at the department and in the town of Little Elm,” Little Elm Police Chief Rodney Harrison said.
A memorial has already formed outside the Little Elm Police Department in honor of Walker. Residents who were there Wednesday morning said he had a big impact on a lot of lives.
“Even my neighbor, she knew who he was because he helped her with a time of bereavement. He was just a very vital part of the community. If you saw that little gray Toyota 4-Runner, you knew that was Det. Walker. And he had a way with kids. That’s what a lot of times we need now is younger people. He had a good way with the younger children. We just really respected him and loved him a lot,” Tonya Lewis said.
Before being promoted to detective in 2013, Walker was a school resource officer at Little Elm High School. Flags are flying at half-staff there and students were asked to wear blue on Wednesday to honor him.
Lewis said her son was once mixed up with the wrong crowd. Walker helped change his life.
“My son, he used to be around the wrong crowd and he got in trouble. And when he got in trouble, Det. Walker was the officer he ended up having to talk to. And he really put some hard words inside of my son that turned my son around that one time,” she said. “Not only did he put the words in him, he came to the house and followed up with him and made sure that he was doing right.”
Cowboys' wide receiver Cole Beasley said Walker looked out for him in high school.
This is crazy. We lost a good one today. He looked out for me in high school. Rest In Peace. https://t.co/Sn4SNrLXTa— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) January 18, 2017
Point Church pastor Brad Sutton said all of Little Elm’s officers have an incredible relationship with the community. He remembers Walker once helping with his son’s baseball team.
The 48-year-old officer leaves behind four children ranging in age from 22 to just a few months old. Sutton said his church plans to look after the family.
“We are going to make sure Officer Walker’s family is going to be taken care of. We are going to make sure those kids grow up with what they need and that they know their dad is a hero and finished strong,” he said.
Those who wish to contribute to his family can donate to the "Jerry Wlaker Fund" at Capital One Bank on E. Eldorado Parkway. For more information, contact Theresa Walker at 214-544-4832.
There will be a candlelight vigil for Walker at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Little Elm Park.