MEXIA, Texas (AP) — Hundreds of law enforcement officers from around the country filled a high school stadium Friday to pay tribute to a Texas state trooper who was shot and killed during a Thanksgiving Day traffic stop.
The funeral for Trooper Damon Allen drew mourners including Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Organizers expecting to have a massive crowd held the service at the Mexia High School stadium where Allen once played football, about 40 miles northeast of Waco.
“His life will live on,” Allen’s pastor, Brian Hallmark, told the mourners. “He’ll never be forgotten, and he’ll be spoken of here for many, many years.”
Allen was the second Texas trooper to be killed while on duty in November. Trooper Thomas Nipper died when his patrol car was struck while he conducted a traffic stop. Nipper’s widow was at Allen’s funeral.
Hallmark urged the crowd to “keep living your life, keep loving, keep Damon’s life honored and alive.”
Officials at the high school staged a fire drill so students could see the funeral procession leave Mexia, headed to a rural cemetery. Lining the route were 750 blue ribbons that Mexia residents placed there Thursday.
Allen, 41, a married father of four children, was a trooper for 15 years and was the first to die in a shooting incident since 2008.
Authorities say he was in his car after making a traffic stop when the driver of the other vehicle stepped out and fired a rifle at him. Allen died at the scene. Dabrett Black, 32, is being held on a charge of capital murder of a police officer.