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May 15, 2001

DPS Memorial Service Honors Slain, Injured Texas Officers

Twenty-one Texas law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2000 and 2001--including two DPS troopers--were honored Tuesday at the DPS headquarters in Austin.

This is the sixteenth year that DPS has held a law enforcement memorial service. The survivors of DPS officers killed in the line of duty--and DPS officers who have been injured in the line of duty-- are invited to the service each year.

"It's important for us all to remember the officers who gave their lives to protect the people of Texas," said Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr., director of the Department. "It is equally important to let their survivors know that we understand and value those sacrifices."

Karen Miller, widow of slain Trooper Terry Miller, placed the memorial wreath during the ceremony Tuesday morning. (Trooper Miller and two Atascosa County Sheriff's deputies were killed in an ambush outside Pleasanton in October 1999.)

Gov. Rick Perry spoke during the ceremony.

"Today, we are all reminded that the freedom we enjoy--and all too often take for granted--comes at a tremendous price," said Perry. "May all Texans be forever grateful."

These Texas peace officers were killed feloniously in 2001:
  • Officer John Anthony Riojas, San Antonio PD, shot 02/02/01 while pursuing a suspect on foot, died 02/03/01
  • Deputy Keith Ruiz, Travis County SO, 02/15/01, killed serving a drug warrant
  • Officer Hector Garza, San Antonio PD, 03/29/01, killed responding to a disturbance call
  • Lieutenant Clay Medrano, Harrison County SO, 04/27/01, killed serving an arrest warrant
These Texas peace officers died in on-duty traffic crashes in 2001:
  • Deputy Vance Clements, Gregg County SO, 02/01/01
  • Sergeant Donald F. Flusche, Jr., Dallas PD, injured 08/19/92, died 03/17/01
  • Deputy Loutricia Sowell Bonfanti, Leon County SO, 04/07/01
  • Senior Trooper Richard Dale Cottle, DPS-Waco, 05/09/01
These Texas peace officers were killed feloniously in 2000:
  • Officer Oscar D. Perez, San Antonio PD, 3-24-00, killed while serving a felony warrant
  • Officer William Jones, Austin Park PD, 5-28-00, killed during a traffic stop
  • Deputy Oscar C. Hill IV, Harris County SO, injured 06/19/00 while investigating shots fired, died 7-22-00
  • Trooper Randall Vetter, DPS - San Marcos, 8-8-00, killed during a traffic stop
  • Deputy John C. Risley, Harris County SO, 10-23-00, killed responding to a disturbance call
  • Deputy Lee Russ, Ward County SO, 10-30-00, killed responding to a disturbance call
  • Deputy Barrett Hill, Harris County SO, 12/4/00, killed pursuing an auto theft suspect
  • Sgt. David M. Furrh, Gonzales County SO , 12/5/00, killed executing a search warrant
  • Corporal Jim Lamance, Whitewright PD, 12/23/00, killed during a traffic pursuit
  • Officer Aubry Hawkins, Irving PD, 12/24/00, was killed responding to a robbery in progress

These Texas peace officers died in on-duty traffic crashes in 2000:
  • Senior Corp. Harold Baird Jr., Dallas PD, 8-19-00
  • Deputy Sheila Pyle, Trinity County SO, 11-3-00
  • Officer Mark D. Hiatt, Bryan PD, 12-2-00

Tribute to Fallen Officers

DPS Senior Trooper Richard Dale Cottle