LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - If you ask Angelina Sheriff Captain Alton Lenderman to describe Trey Hutchison in one word, his answer would be 'family'.
"He was like my son," Lenderman said. "If I corrected him on anything he would always say, 'I just want to be a good officer'. Trey was that guy that always had that big Hollywood smile; a real big smile. He was always cracking jokes."
Lenderman was Hutchison's supervisor for the Lufkin Police 16 years ago. After serving under Lenderman for 5 and a half years, Hutchison would move back home to Louisiana and served with the Bossier City Police Department. A year later Hutchison would be killed in the line of duty.
According to the Officer Down Memorial page, on Aug. 11,2004 Hutchison went to a 911 call on Jana Place and was ambushed when he walked to the door. He was shot twice in the back with a shotgun used by the suspect. The fatal rounds struck him in areas his vest did not protect.
"She said, Mark, they're sending a police officer to come get me," Hutchison's father Mark said."I don't think you can cry hard enough or long enough at that time."
His family acknowledges similarities to the recent killing of Shreveport Police Officer Thomas Lavalley.
"Trey and Thomas both went to a 911 call to help," Mark said. "It was both domestic disturbances, and they were both ambushed, pretty much. He was about the same age as Trey so a lot of emotions came back. It brought us right back to that day."
It's been over a decade, but images of protesters clashing with police in Ferguson, MO and around the country over the last year keep the images of the day fresh in the mind of Lenderman.
"The general public forgets we are people just like everyone else," Lenderman said. "We are someone's son. We are a father, a grandfather and someone's son. A lot of times people just see the uniform and forget we are people too."
Lenderman said those images of Hutchison will always remain in his heart.
"There is an old saying: 'The good die young,'" Lenderman said. "There was no better than Trey."
Trey is still very much a part of Mark and Wendy's lives. They keep his memory and legacy alive by supporting other families of fallen officers.