Public memorial service to be held in El Paso for fallen Texas Tech officer
Family, friends and law enforcement personnel from across the state attended a memorial service Tuesday for Texas Tech police Officer Floyd East Jr., who was shot and killed on the Lubbock campus last week.
Those who knew East said he was not only a great law enforcement officer, but an all-around great person.
"What we saw today was a display of support from all law enforcement agencies from across the entire state that came in,” said Richard Lange, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso. "We as a community mourn his loss."
It was a somber moment as law enforcement agencies from across Texas and the country lined up to honor the East family members as they entered the memorial.
There were officers who traveled from as far away as New York, Chicago and Utah to stand in unity with their brothers in blue.
"We truly lost a good person,” said Carlos Rodriguez Jr., a member of East's family.
East’s family members said they want to thank the community for its outpouring of support. The family issued the following statement:
We would particularly like to thank the Texas Tech faculty, students, staff and community; Chancellor Robert Duncan; Presidents Richard Lange and Lawrence Schovanec; the staff at Prudential; and Kyle Jacobson, who set up the GoFundMe account for Officer East. We are also appreciative of the law enforcement personnel and organizations that have reached out and provided support, including the Lubbock Police Department; Captain Larry Clendenning and the Texas Tech Police Department; the TTPD in El Paso; the El Paso Community College Police Department; the El Paso Police Department Pebble Hills Regional Command; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
The memorial service was held at the Abraham Chavez Theater in downtown El Paso.
It allowed East’s family, friends, colleagues and members of law enforcement agencies from across the country to honor the man behind the badge.
East was an Andress High School graduate. During the memorial service, the Andress High School ROTC presented the colors and the school’s choir director sang the national anthem.
Several Texas Tech University officials, including university President Lawrence Schovanec, spoke at the memorial.
"I'm going to think about him in the best way, which is the only way I can remember him, because that's how I knew him,” said Rodriguez. "He was first class and remember him, always, I hope, as the man that he was, the person he represents."
Schovanec said he is blown away by the amount of support shown for the fallen officer.
"I heard one of them say, 'We stand united,' and that really is the case,” he said. “They are very united."
Lange said he knew East both professionally and personally.
"This is more than just a loss of an officer. It really is a loss for the Texas Tech community and for me individually, as well,” he said.
Schovanec and Lange both said East will never be forgotten.
"We mourn the loss of a police officer who lost his life in the line of duty, a Texas Tech University police officer,” said Lange. “But also celebrate what he brought to the community."
Rodriguez said he will continue to support the rest of East’s family.
"He was humble, again, very classy. He was very respectful. We loved him for that,” he said.
Following the memorial, there was a balloon release hosted by the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.
Then, family and friends attended a private reception.
A memorial fund has also been set up the by Texas Tech University for the officer’s family.
Visit give2tech.com/eastmemorial to contribute.
East allegedly was shot Monday night by 19-year-old Hollis Daniels. That night, officers received complaints about a student who was acting erratically and possibly had a weapon. East conducted a student welfare check and found evidence of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Daniels was taken to the police station, where he later allegedly pulled out a gun, fatally shot East and fled. He was not handcuffed at the time.
He was arrested, after a short campuswide lockdown. He is being held on a $5 million bail.