It wasn’t a secret that Police Corporal Jose “Speedy” Espericueta was looking forward to watching his 13-year-old son Joaquin play in his first football game.
Unfortunately, the Mission, Texas, dad never got the chance. He was shot and killed in the line of duty in June.
After Espericueta’s death, the Mission Police Department vowed to take care of his family, including being there for major life events.
On Saturday, officers from across south Texas took Espericueta’s place at the event he so wanted to attened. A sea of law enforcement, including those from the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office and US Customs and Border Protection Agency, were in the stands at Cathey Middle School in McAllen to watch Joaquin play in his first 7th grade football game.
#RGV Sector #BorderPatrol agents joined local police officers today to support the son of fallen hero, Cpl. Joey “Speedy” Espericueta. A sea of law enforcement watched Joaquin who was named honorary captain for his first 7th grade football game! #BackTheBlue #HonorFirst pic.twitter.com/SaMWFbbIr8— CBP RGV (@CBPRGV) September 22, 2019
"We made a promise to the family – we were always going to be there for special events and today this is his first football game," Lara told KGBT-TV. "He's in heaven, watching from heaven today."
"This would have been Speedy's place, to be here with his son," Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez added. "It's an important day for him, his mom and his sister, and it's an important day for us as part of his extended family."
Mission 👮🏻 officers vowed to take care of Cpl. Espericueta's family. They kept that promise as they showed up for Joaquin's 1st football 🏈 game. Speedy's son was named honorary capt. So many officers & city leaders were there to support! #ThisIsForSpeedy 💙 pic.twitter.com/Mg6fPzp9kY— City of Mission, TX (@CityOfMissionTX) September 21, 2019
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Lara, who organized Saturday's gathering for Joaquin's football game, told CNN that "nobody hesitated on showing up."
"Everybody was willing to go ahead and come out," he said. "Just to support him, just to let him know that we're going to be there for the rest of his life."