DALLAS - Police officers from across the country are paying their respects to a Dallas officer.
Officer Rogelio Santander was shot and killed by a shoplifting suspect last week at a northeast Dallas Home Depot. His partner, Officer Crystal Almeida, and Home Depot employee, Scott Painter, were also critically injured.
The officer’s body was moved from the Cathedral Guadalupe in Downtown Dallas to Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall Tuesday morning for the Catholic funeral service.
Bishop Edward Burns told friends, family members and officers from as far away as New York City and California a story about how Officer Santander inspired his mother to get a better job and how he had a tight relationship with his father and brother.
He was remembered as a hard-working, dedicated and determined officer who was always smiling. He was also described as someone who loved his family, his dogs and playing soccer.
Family friend Oscar Romero said Santander was determined to achieve success and he always did.
“Because I have great respect for him, for everything he did. He had his mind set of goals and he did them. He achieved them. He had more goals. I know his life was cut short, a great tragedy. But he was still a great young man,” Romero said.
Family members said Santander had dreams of being a police officer since he was a little boy. He was only on the force three years before he was killed in the line of duty.
His funeral will be followed by a burial service at Restland Cemetery in Dallas.
Traffic is expected to be delayed on Interstate 30, the President George Bush Turnpike, Central Expressway, LBJ Freeway and Greenville Avenue as the procession makes its way from the church in Rockwall to the cemetery in Dallas.
Almeida and Painter remain in critical condition. The suspect, 29-year-old Armando Juarez, is charged with capital murder for the shooting.