The U.S. Honor Flag arrived in Kaufman Monday to pay tribute to slain Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.
The prosecutor was shot to death Thursday morning as he was heading to work from a parking lot near the Kaufman County Courthouse.
The flag was escorted from DFW Airport to Kaufman Monday by a motorcade of Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers and Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputies.
The flag flew over the Texas Capital on Sept. 11, 2001, and since then has traveled nearly 6 million miles to honor fallen US heroes.
The town square was jammed with squad cars and neighbors as the flag was raised to half-staff by a special honor guard of Dallas County Deputies.
Chris Heisler with the Honor Network spoke to the crowd after the flag was raised.
“This is your flag. This is our flag. This is for one nation, all heroes. This flag is here to represent everything this community has lost,” Heisler said.
District Attorney Mike McLelland said Hasse would have been impressed with the patriotic ceremony.
“For awhile he was in Navy pilot training until they found that he had a bad wrist and they sent him home. But he kept flying. So, he would appreciate this tremendously,” McLelland said.
Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood said it was another sign of the support Kaufman has received since the murder.
“It’s pretty obvious that there’s support from every community in our county that’s here, certainly from law enforcement, but just citizens that are here, that are showing support for this. So I’m very pleased, but I’m not surprised,” Wood said.
There have been no arrests in the case, but authorities investigating the murder said Monday they have many leads.
They still hope the $71,500 in donated reward money will help attract the information that leads to a suspect.
“We’re probably in the elimination stage,” said Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes. “We’re trying to eliminate a lot things, the minutiae that’s always there with these kind of things, and we’re moving forward with that and we’ll continue to do that.”
New fax lines were added Monday at the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Training Center, a former armory that’s become the base of operations for state and federal investigators joining the Hasse murder case.
Byrnes said he’s had personal conversations with top officials in Austin and Washington, D.C.
“Anything we need, they will make available to us,” Byrnes said.
The U.S. Honor flag will come down Tuesday at 4 p.m. with another ceremony to include a military aircraft fly over.
Funeral services for Hasse are set for Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Terrell Independent School District Performing Arts Center, which seats more than 1,700 people.
Wood said county officials wanted to keep the funeral in Kaufman County.
“It’s the largest such facility in our county that we could put that many people in at one time,” Wood said.