Loved Ones Remember Slain Mesquite Police Officer Richard Houston Thursday

Officer Richard Houston, 46, was killed in the line of duty Friday

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What to Know

  • The public funeral for Mesquite officer Richard Houston was held at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall.
  • Speakers included Houston's daughter Shelby, Chief of Police David Gill, and Assistant Chief Doug Yates.
  • Houston was shot at killed in the parking lot of an Albertson’s grocery store at Belt Line and Cartwright roads on Friday.

Fellow police officers joined friends and loved ones remembering slain Mesquite police officer Richard Houston through tears and laughter Thursday in Rockwall.

Houston, 46, was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance in a grocery store parking lot last Friday. Houston was a 21-year veteran of the Mesquite Police Department and is survived by his wife and three children.

Houston's oldest daughter, Shelby, was one of three people to speak at his funeral Thursday. She was preceded by Mesquite Chief of Police David Gill and Assistant Chief Doug Yates.

Shelby's emotional remembrance included her father's final text, a message of encouragement before she was set to preach before her church for the first time. A text that unintentionally now carries far more weight after his death.

"I'm here to tell you everything will be OK. You've got this. Remember that no matter what, me and your mom got your back, always and forever. Have fun tonight, speak from your heart, and don't look back. You will do great. I know you will, no doubt. I love you."

Shelby also shared lighter father-daughter moments of the relationship she shared with her father and said he was a man who would drop anything for his children, who never missed an event, and was a good man who was certainly greeted into the gates of heaven.

"There was still a lot of life I was looking forward to spending with him. Eighteen years with you daddy was just not enough time," Shelby said. "You were faithful, steadfast, kind, loving, selfless, and hard-working. On Dec. 3 you were silenced but you will forever live on in my heart today and all the days to come."

Shelby said she was relieved to know the man accused of killing her father is improving in the hospital and hopes to spend time with him to talk about Jesus.

Gill knew Houston for about 20 years and spoke fondly of his longtime friendship with Houston recalled how he always wanted to be a police officer in Mesquite like his father was. Preparing for the funeral, Gill said he was looking over Houston's personnel file and noticed on Houston's application that he'd not applied to any other departments and had no plan to work anywhere but Mesquite.

“Richard always wanted to be a police officer,” said Gill. “He wanted to be a Mesquite police officer.”

Houston received 48 letters of commendation and two ' life-saving' awards in his career. There had been multiple incidents where he was able to talk down suspects, including a suicidal man.

Gill, who served as a sniper with Houston on the SWAT team, jokingly recalled his friend as sarcastic and headstrong and tough to manage, but that he was also a man of strong faith, recalling texts he'd receive from his friend asking him to pray for others in need.

Mesquite Assistant Police Chief Doug Yates said Houston spent an entire shift praying after a colleague died of cancer. And Yates said that while clearing out Houston's squad car after his death, he found Houston's Bible.

Yates spoke of Houston's love of the outdoors, tactical gear, and his unwavering faith.

"Richard didn't just go to church -- Richard walked with God each day," Yates said. "God was with him last Friday and Richard is with God."

There was an outpouring of support for the Mesquite Police Department outside the funeral for fallen police officer Richard Houston. NBC 5 photojournalist John Thompson was there as citizens lined the streets.

Thursday's services at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall were open to the public, though the graveside service was a private gathering with Houston's family and close loved ones.

One final salute was held outside following the emotional memorial service and included a 21-gun salute and a flag presentation.

Officers from the Dallas Police Department provided assistance with emergency services in Mesquite while Houston is laid to rest.

"We ARE family. THIS is what it means to wear the same patch. Rest easy brother, we’ll take it from here," Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia wrote on Twitter.

Officer Killed Responding to Domestic Disturbance

Houston had been called to respond to a report of a fight between two women when he was fatally shot. Police documents later revealed that a woman and her daughter had reportedly caught her husband, Jamie Jaramillo, with another woman in a grocery store parking lot.

When Houston responded, he reportedly spoke with the wife and daughter before he approached Jaramillo. As the police officer approached, Jaramillo shot and killed him before he turned the gun on himself.

Jaramillo, 37, survived the shooting and is recovering in a hospital while he faces capital murder charges.

Jaramillo’s wife, Juventina Vasquez Bences, is also facing charges related to the incident. According to police records, after Jaramillo shot himself, Vasquez Bences picked up his gun and threatened the alleged mistress with the weapon.

NBC 5's Maria Guerrero, Ben Russell and Frank Heinz contributed to this report.

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