ROCKWALL, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The 85th Dallas Police officer to die in the line of duty has been laid to rest.
But not before a moving funeral for Rogelio Santander, 27, who was shot and killed last week while attempting to make an arrest.
Hundreds of officers from all over the country converged on Lake Point Church in Rockwall on Tuesday.
Officer Santander emerged from very humble beginnings, growing up in a poor neighborhood, finding love in a fast food restaurant.
But he achieved more than anyone expected and today had every leader in the city and county of Dallas paying their respects to him.
“We’ve lost a beloved brother a phenomenal colleague and comrade all too young,” said Bishop Edward Burns of the Diocese of Dallas.
Santander’s proud expression faced the crowd of mourners who came to understand it when friends told his story.
“He was going to make it no matter the rough neighborhood he lived in or where he lived at that he was going to make it and he accomplished it he made it until his dream to become a police officer,” said Oscar Romero, a childhood friend.
Santander achieved his dream and found love, in all places, a Subway restaurant.
“I looked at you and smiled and I waved goodbye and you came back and gave me that little giggled and that sweet smile again,” said Santander’s girlfriend, Jennifer Rivera.
Rivera offered a glimpse into the life of the 27-year-old officer who was shot and killed last week while making an arrest with another officer who was wounded.
Those who new Santander say he wanted to work in rough neighborhoods where he could make a difference.
A seemingly endless line of officers and local leaders, including the district attorney, Dallas mayor and city council filed passed Santander’s body.
His three years on the force were short but will have a lasting impact on those following in his footsteps.
“I have lost a good brother but he would want us to carry on his legacy so his sacrifice would not be in vain,” said Officer Dung Nguyen. “He is always smiling goodbye brother we will take it from here.”
After the funeral, many people lined highways to pay respects during the procession to the cemetery.