Follow CBSDFW.COM: Facebook | Twitter
EULESS (CBSDFW.COM) – This morning North Texans are grieving for a woman and her children as they mourn the death of a Euless police officer who was also a son, brother and soon-to-be groom.
Hofer was shot Tuesday afternoon and people began stopping by police department headquarters around 6 a.m., to pay their respects. A memorial set up last night continues to grow with flowers, cards and gifts. Every flower, candle, note placed on the memorial has come with a prayer, or tears, or moment of silence.
Officer David Hofer’s death has been a powerful draw for other officers and citizens from across North Texas to come to Euless. Mourner Kandice Gordon said, “I don’t know if it’s healing. It’s just giving back to the community and knowing that I’m part of it. It affects everyone.” When asked if she lived in the area Gordon said, “Well, I used to, but no. I live in Haltom City. This is… even though it’s not the same city, it’s the same city, basically.”
Euless police Chief Michael Brown said, “This community will not forget David’s servant heart and his dry wit. We ask for respect and consideration for the family and for the Euless Police Department family at this time.”
Officer Hofer was shot in the line of duty. He had been sent to respond to a call about a suspicious person and possible shots fired at J.A. Carr Park around 3 p.m. Schools in the area were placed on lockdown as officers responded to the call.
Officer Hofer arrived at the scene and witnesses say he was shot as he approached the suspect, now identified as 22-year-old Jorge Brian Gonzalez. Other arriving officers exchanged gunfire with Gonzalez and shot him. Officer Hofer was rushed to Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in Grapevine, but died from his injuries while undergoing surgery. Police and first-responders from across North Texas went to the hospital and escorted Hofer’s body from there to the medical examiner’s office in Fort Worth.
Gonzalez was also fatally wounded.
People in the area said they saw a flurry of activity near one of the busy trails at the park. Witness Nelson Leka recalled, “I saw many policemen holding guns, running around these blocks. And about 30 seconds, on my way to pick up my children, [I heard] three shots and I saw in the mirror they were running around, chasing someone.”
A reporter with the New York Post spoke with Sofija Hofer, the officer’s mother, who had fond memories of her son. “He was a wonderful child, a wonderful police officer,” she told The Post.
Initially, Sofija Hofer had different asperations for her son, but said he knew exactly what he wanted to do. “I thought he might be a scientist, like his father, but he always wanted to be a policeman, ever since he was a little boy,” she said. “He was so brave.”
Officer Hofer had five years of experience as a New York City police officer before coming to North Texas two years ago. A fiancée, Marta Danylyk, parents and a brother and sister survive the 29-year-old.
Officer Hofer is only the second officer to die in the line of duty in Euless. The other officer was Michael Williamson, who was killed by a drunken driver in 1982.
The Euless Police Benevolence Organization has set up an account for donations in memory of Officer Hofer and in support of his family. The account is at –
My Credit Union
1014 N. Industrial Blvd. (at the corner of Industrial and Harwood)
Euless, Texas 76039
Officials with the Euless Police Department are expected to give more details on the shooting, exactly what happened to Officer Hofer and suspect Gonzalez at a press conference scheduled for 3 p.m.
(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)