The third of three officers injured in a shootout earlier this week in Odessa, Cpl. Abel Marquez, passed away Wednesday afternoon. See story here.
When a tragedy like this occurs, a sense of shock permeates everything. We, the general public, can only imagine how the fellow officers might feel. This morning, when I arrived at work, an e-mail awaited me. As I read it, my heart broke. This e-mail is from one of the officers who serves with me on the “Bad Boy Blast” committee I spoke of in the prior post, and was written late Tuesday night, in reply to an e-mail I sent to the Bad Boy Blast committee. The author of this e-mail happens to be married to another Odessa police officer, so their entire family has been affected by this loss. With permission of this officer, I am going to share the text of the e-mail with you all so you might get a better perception of what they are experiencing. (Names have been changed to protect the officer's identity.)
I have a few moments to actually read the e-mails that so many well wishers have sent to the OPD family. Janie, this hurts soooo bad, the emotions that I and my fellow brothers and sisters feel are just so overwhelming. We cry, we toughen up, we are angry, confused...it just goes on and on.
I went by to see Cpl. Jones and Cpl. Gardner and it was too much! Hubbard Kelly has done such a wonderful job and they look so good in their uniforms. I told Arlie's sister that he has been promoted. He now works for the Ultimate Supreme Judge of the World! He is under the command of Saint Michael now. My Scott, I always called him "professor" and he got such a kick out of that. Whenever he wore his glasses, he looked so studious and I would say "What's up professor?” He would smile and shake his head.
Scott loved to call my spouse in the middle of night whenever he would recover a stolen vehicle. He would tease me and say "Is your spouse on call? I have to find a stolen vehicle so I can wake him up!" He adored and respected my spouse. He was just a big ole Teddy Bear!
I will miss him.
I will miss them both.
You can't help but feel angry, angry that someone would have the nerve to take their life the way that perp did. He took away someone's husband, father, son, brother, uncle, nephew and best friend.
I just don't know how I'm going to get through tomorrow. The generosity of this community, both Odessa and Midland has been awesome. The calls, e-mails, donations, people stepping up to the plate to help is just remarkable. I believe that is what is getting us through.
Cpl. Marquez is hanging by life support. It's too much to bear knowing we could lose him as well. Please pray for my chief, I can only imagine as a leader how this is affecting him.
Thank you Janie for listening, I needed to get this off my mind so I can rest. Tomorrow will be tough."
I spoke with this officer earlier tonight, and amazingly, the officers did make it through today. And it was even harder than they thought - at the completion of the second funeral today, they exited the service to the announcement that Cpl. Marquez had passed.
The communities of Odessa and Midland are really pouring out love and support to these wounded warriors. The support is overwhelming, and definitely showing our public servants that this community cares about them.
I ask you to continue praying for all concerned: the families and friends of Cpl. Jones, Cpl. Gardner, and Cpl. Marquez – and all of the OPD, including the brothers of Cpl. Marquez, and of course, Chief Pipes.
It’s one way we can serve those who protect and serve us.
(Please also see Jimmy's tribute.)