Family, friends and the members of the community gathered May 1 for support and to say farewell to fallen Dallas police officer Rogelio Santander Jr. who was killed in the line of duty April 25 at the Home Depot in Northeast Dallas.
A funeral service was held at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall followed by burial at Restland Memorial Park. Law enforcement representatives from across the country, New Hope, Texas to New York City, attended the service and joined the funeral procession to show support for fellow officers in blue.
Police officers came from as far away as Detroit, Boston and Mississippi to pay their respects to someone they never met but considered a brother. Departments within Texas also expressed their condolences with representatives in attendance from Fort Worth, Richardson and the Texas A&M-Commerce, where Santander graduated.
Months earlier, in Feb. 2018, Richardson police mourned the loss of one of its own when officer David Sherrard was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance at the Breckinridge Pointe Apartments.
As Santander’s funeral ended and the procession moved to the cemetery, police officers and firefighters saluted along the side of the road and on overpasses as a show of respect to the fallen officer and his family. People young and old and from many different backgrounds stood watching on busy service roads as the funeral procession went by.
Employees of a local Rockwall Home Depot near the church watched the procession and displayed a banner they created that read “Back the Blue.” As the motorcycle-escorted process began, drivers on the highway pulled over to the side of the freeway.
The police escort and the hearse arrived at Restland around 3 p.m. followed by many police officers. Employees of the Richardson ISD headquarters, across from Restland, stood along the street holding a long blue banner showing support for the men in blue. Officers greeted them as they moved into the cemetery.
Santander, Dallas Police officer Crystal Almeida and Home Depot employee Scott Painter were shot while trying to arrest 29-year-old Armando Juarez on an outstanding warrant. Santander died at the hospital. Almeida and Painter remain hospitalized. Juarez faces a charge of capital murder and is being held on a $4 million bond.