GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A community in mourning is expected to gather Sunday evening to honor fallen Grand Prairie officer A.J. Castaneda at a candlelight vigil at police headquarters.
Castaneda, 38, was killed Friday morning after he was hit by a vehicle on the President George Bush Turnpike. Authorities said he was hit while running traffic enforcement.
According to officials, the driver who hit Castaneda had lost control of the vehicle for an unknown reason. No charges have been filed against the 17-year-old driver.
Castaneda was a five-year veteran with the department and previously worked with the U.S. Coast Guard and Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department. He was also the father to an 11-year-old son.
The Grand Prairie Police Department has planned a candlelight vigil at its headquarters at 1525 Arkansas Lane to honor the fallen officer. The public is invited.
A donation page was also set up to raise money for Castaneda’s family. Police said it raised $11,000 in less than 24 hours.
A memorial can also be seen in front of the department’s headquarters where the community has been leaving flowers and saying prayers.
One mourner had a message for Castaneda’s family when she stopped by the memorial on Saturday.
“My prayers are with you. I know it’s hard at this time… gonna be dark moments… He lived his life in honor and humility,” she said. “Stay strong and keep standing because he did.”