"We made a promise to the family."

By Meghan Overdeep
September 24, 2019
Twitter/CBP RGV

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.

"The one thing he couldn't stop talking about was Joaquin starting football this year," Mission Police Officer Javier Lara recalled to CNN on Sunday.

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.

"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."

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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."