SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio police officer who was fatally shot last month while chasing two robbery suspects was laid to rest Saturday.
The funeral at Cornerstone Church for Robert Deckard, 31, a seven-year veteran of the force, featured an honor guard, and thousands of mourners and fellow officers from across the country attended.
Additional mourners lined streets for the funeral procession that closed roads to traffic for more than an hour. On one overpass, city firefighters parked a fire truck with its latter up and fitted with an American flag.
Blue police helicopters then were flown in formation in Deckard's honor just above the treetops at Mission Burial Park.
His badge number, 0582, also was retired. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus instructed a dispatch officer to announce the number's retirement, and San Antonio police officers received the message over their department radios.
Colleagues, friends and relatives remembered Deckard's quick wit and ever-present smile. He was shot in the head Dec. 8 while chasing two convenience store robbery suspects. He died Dec. 20.
Police arrested 28-year-old Jenevieve Ramos and 32-year-old Shawn Ruiz Puente after the shooting. Both are being held on capital murder charges
Deckard wasn't scheduled to work the day of the shooting but was filling in as a favor to a fellow officer. After spotting and attempting to pull over the suspects, he pursued them at speeds exceeding 100 miles an hour as they raced away.
As the chase continued, one of the suspects shot at Deckard. The bullet pierced Deckard's windshield and hit him in the forehead. Police later recovered the suspects' vehicle abandoned, but found them hiding in a nearby ravine.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press