DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Friends, family members and other folks in the community will honor the life of Dallas Police Department officer Rogelio Santander this week. A public visitation begins Monday for the 27-year-old officer, who was shot and killed while trying to take a man into custody at a Home Depot store last week.
The visitation lasts from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe on Ross Avenue, following a private mass. Santander’s funeral will then be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall. As many as 3,000 guests from all across the country are expected to attend that service.
Even some people who did not know Santander personally will likely arrive in North Texas to be at the service on Tuesday and say goodbye. As has been the case with other police funerals over the years, many officers from across the nation will travel to Dallas as a show of support.
Police escorted Santander’s body away from the funeral home on Friday, in a somber salute.
Another police procession will be held after the funeral, from the church to the burial site at Restland Cemetery on Greenville Avenue. The route is set to go west Interstate-30, north on the President George Bush Turnpike, south along Highway 75 and then east on Interstate-635. Expect traffic delays in these areas on Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, a memorial continues to grow outside of the Northeast Substation, where Santander worked. A collection of signs, balloons, flags and flowers adorn a squad car, and members of the community kept stopping by over the weekend to pay their respects to the fallen officer and add to the tribute.
At a vigil last Thursday night, Santander was praised for his work ethic, his smile and his sacrifice.
Santander leaves behind his parents, a younger brother and girlfriend of many years. Bishop Edward Burns with the Catholic Diocese of Dallas met with the family on Sunday to discuss funeral plans. “They are so grateful for the outpouring of love and affection shown to them. In fact, they are wondering how to best express their gratitude for everyone,” Burns said.
“It’s significant that it’s a moment like this when a community binds together,” Burns added, “when there’s tragedy.”
Santander was not the only victim of last week’s shooting in Dallas. Officer Crystal Almeida and Home Depot loss prevention officer Scott Painter were also injured. They were all attempting to take a customer with a felony warrant into custody. At last check, Almeida and Painter are still in the hospital and improving. Burns has met with them as well.
Shooting suspect Armando Juarez remains behind bars on charges of capital murder, aggravated assault on a public servant and aggravated assault in retaliation. His bond sits at more than $4 million. Sources said that Juarez was not handcuffed after being told that he was going to jail, which allowed him to pull out a gun and start shooting.