East Texas officers prepare to honor slain Harris County deputy

Published: Sep. 3, 2015 at 9:54 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 3, 2015 at 10:11 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Across the state, thousands of officers are preparing to honor fallen Harris County Darren Goforth.

Goforth's end of watch was Aug.28, after authorities said he was shot up to 15 times while putting gas in his vehicle. Goforth's funeral will be Friday at Houston's Second Baptist Church. Law enforcement officers are expected to travel from across Texas and other states to the funeral. Those include officers from the Pineywoods.

"I didn't know him but there is a connection, so I will be going down to Houston," Angelina County Pct.1 Constable Tom Selman said. "Everyday when we go out, we don't know what we are going to get into."

Zavalla Police Chief Steve Drumm said as soon as the funeral plans were announced for the funeral, he was ready to go show his support.

"Any time we put on this uniform and badge we are all family. When one of us gets hurt or killed in the line of duty," Drumm said. "It's like another family. You are going to be there to support them."

For Angelina County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Robert Willmon, going to funerals of fallen officers is something special. Willmon's uncle, Don, was a captain for the sheriff's office in the 1970s. Cpt. Willmon was killed while working for the sheriff's office.

"What surprised me was how many people came out to honor him." Willmon said. "Not only from the community but from law enforcement agencies from Texas and other states throughout the country. It's just amazing the support that came out. I've gone to about a dozen or so services for other officers, just to give back."

The Lufkin Police Honor Guard will make the trip to Houston as well. Along with the guard will be several wives. They all said they want to lend support to the family.

"I do get scared," Dianna Reyes said. "I am scared for my husband sometimes. He has done what the deputy was doing. I want to be their for his widow. She is going to be the mother and the father to the children. She's going to have to do double of what she has been doing."

Chief Gerald Williamson said it was a no-brainer to do the funeral.

"It's about the bond that law enforcement officers have with each other because we are out here," Williamson said." We are all doing the same job."

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