Many police officers feel it’s their calling to serve and protect, even if that means risking their lives in the line of duty.
Everyone who knew and loved Peter Herrera can tell you he was undoubtedly one of these brave individuals. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office deputy died making sure his community was safe. His wife Ashley and daughter Natalie are devastated, but they couldn’t be more proud of the Texas officer.
The 35-year-old had been shot multiple times during a routine traffic stop on March 22. Police apprehended the shooter and rushed Herrera to a hospital, but tragically, he succumbed to his injuries two days later.
Herrera served the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office for 11 years and was laid to rest on March 29. Hundreds came to pay their respects at his funeral. Processions of law enforcement officers and over a thousand vehicles took place across the nation to honor the fallen deputy.
Herrera’s brothers in blue took care of his loved ones as well, raising money for the family and supporting Natalie during her return to school.
More than a dozen officers showed up at John Drugan School on April 1, lining the walk and escorting Natalie inside after she and her mom arrived that morning. Each step was so difficult for Natalie, but she took comfort knowing she wasn’t alone in her grief.
At one point, it all became too much for the heartbroken teen. But her father’s comrades were right there with shoulders to cry on.
“We came out to support Deputy Herrera and his family and our friends in the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office,” Texas Rescue Patrol Chief Jamil Moutran said during Herrera’s memorial. “We are a family, and as a community we need to come together when we tragically lose one of our brothers or sisters. This is a tragic loss for our [law enforcement] community and the whole El Paso community.”
Every law enforcement officer who paid tribute to Herrera clearly made good on that promise, especially those who helped Natalie through one of the worst days of her life. Rest in peace, Herrera. Your community suffered a terrible loss.
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