Hundreds attend officer's funeral

Pallbearers from the Mesquite Police Department handle the coffin of fellow officer Richard Houston on Thursday outside Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall.

ROCKWALL -- Hundreds of peace officers from across Texas arrived Thursday at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall for the funeral of fellow officer Richard Houston II, 46, who died Friday, Dec. 3, in a shooting outside an Albertson’s in Mesquite.

Men and women in crisp blue uniforms filled row upon row at the spacious church and listened as Mesquite Police Chief David Gill and Assistant Chief Doug Yates eulogized their fallen friend and comrade.

They spoke of a man with a goofy sense of humor who loved the outdoors and enjoyed a large and quirky set of hobbies. They spoke of his love for his co-workers and the intense love he had for his wife, Shelley, and his three children, Shelby, Hannah and Lucas.

Despite a sometimes silly nature, Houston was at his core a man of deep faith and convictions, Yates said.

“He loved his family and he loved the Lord with all his heart and he poured his life into it,” said Yates.

Gill described Houston an “all in kind of person. He never did anything halfway.” Houston, he said, considered his father, also a veteran of the Mesquite Police Department, to be his hero. He wanted to be like him, and that’s why he chose to pursue a career in law enforcement at Mesquite.

Houston often talked about his family, and when he mentioned his wife, Shelley, he did so “with a gleam in his eye,” said Gill.

“Richard was a heck of a cop and a better friend,” said Gill.

Houston’s daughter, Shelby, gave a moving eulogy of her father, and said she wants the man who killed him to find Jesus Christ.

“There has been anger, sadness, grief and confusion. Part of me wishes I could despise the man who did this to my father, but I can’t get any part of my heart to hate him. All that I can find is myself hoping and praying for this man to truly know Jesus,” she said as she fought back tears.

At the conclusion of the funeral, hundreds of police officers stood shoulder to shoulder outside the church as bagpipers played “Amazing Grace” and police pallbearers folded flags to present to Houston’s family. After a volley of rifle salutes, a bugler played “Taps” before and a radio dispatcher transmitted a final End of Watch call for the fallen officer.

Jamie Jaramillo, 37, of Balch Springs was listed in stable condition Thursday and is facing charges of capital murder. He reportedly shot himself in the head after the deadly encounter with Houston.

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