Lifestyle & Human Interest

After Football-Loving Dad Dies in the Line of Duty, Dozens of Officers Come to Son's First Game


In June of this year, a family, a community and a police department lost a valued member when Police Cpl. Jose Espericueta was killed in the line of duty.

“Our officers, as well as everyone in the line of duty, work in an incredibly difficult environment,” Police Chief Robert Dominguez Dominguez said, according to CNN. “At times, as we see today, this environment can be extremely dangerous.”

Officer Espericueta was tracking down a 33-year-old in Mission, Texas, who’d allegedly been firing at his mother’s car. When he approached the man, he was shot.

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Espericueta was taken to a hospital, where he passed away shortly after.

The suspect continued shooting at police officers until he, too, was wounded, taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

The community near and far grieved the officer’s passing. Espericueta had even appeared on “Live PD,” a show hosted by A&E.

“His fellow officers called him Speedy because a lot of them had trouble pronouncing his last name, and also because [he] was fast responding to calls,” host of the show Dan Abrams said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues.”

There was something that had been left unfinished, though: According to Officer Javier Lara, football-loving Espericueta had eagerly been anticipating the start of his son Joaquin’s first football game of the season.

“The one thing he couldn’t stop talking about was Joaquin starting football this year,” Lara told CNN, according to KCPQ.

“We made a promise to the family that we’re gonna be there for special events,” he continued. “Being the first football game, we gathered agencies from across the valley to let him know that we’re still there, even though his dad’s not.”

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Instead of just family showing up to his game, 13-year-old Joaquin looked up into the stands at Cathey Middle School to see his extended law enforcement family rooting him on.

Joaquin and a few officers even went to midfield before the game for the ceremonial coin flip, and a helicopter flew above the field in honor of his dad.

“It was a true blessing for the Sheriff’s Office to take part in attending and supporting Corporal Jose “Speedy” Espericueta’s son’s first football game in the 2019 season,” the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office posted on Sept. 21.

“It was an amazing experience to see the law enforcement community continue to come together in solidarity to show that ‘Speedy’ will never be forgotten!”

“Everybody was willing to go ahead and come out,” Lara said. “Just to support him, just to let him know that we’re going to be there for the rest of his life.”

“He was really excited. He was real thankful about us being here for him. He has a huge heart. He’s going to be a good young man.”

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