Fallen peace officers to be remembered at ceremony in central Austin on Sunday


TCSO deputy Christopher Korzilius and SMPD officer Justin Putnam were killed in the line of duty in 2020

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Tributes will be paid to Texas peace officers who were killed in the line of duty at a special ceremony and vigil in central Austin on Sunday.

The Texas Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony, which takes place at House Park Field, will honor officers who died in 2019 and 2020.

Among those being remembered are San Marcos Police officer Justin Putnam, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call, and Christopher Korzilius, a deputy with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office who died in a crash.

The event begins with a procession of law enforcement vehicles along Shoal Creek Boulevard at 6:30 p.m.

Gov. Greg Abbott will deliver a speech, and he and First Lady Cecilia Abbott will present medals to the families of the fallen officers.

The evening will conclude with a candlelight vigil.

The following are all of the officers being honored:

  • Christopher David Murray, Frisco Police Department
  • Norman D. Merkel, US Marshal’s Service
  • Ray E. Horn, III, Comal County Sheriff’s Office
  • Russell Dean “Rusty” Salazar, Kendall County
    Community Supervision and Corrections Department
  • Donna Marie Moss, US Customs and Border Protection
  • Nathan Hayden Heidelberg, Midland Police Department
  • Albert “AJ” Castaneda, Jr., Grand Prairie Police Department
  • David Jones Fitzpatrick, The Colony Police Department
  • Jose Luis “Speedy” Espericueta, Jr., Mission Police Department
  • Carlos A. Ramirez, Kendall County Sheriff’s Office
  • Jose Luis Blancarte, Kinney County Sheriff’s Office
  • Moises Sanchez, Texas Dept. of Public Safety
  • Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, Harris County Sheriff’s Office
  • Matthew Ryan Jones, Falls County Sheriff’s Office
  • Christopher Charles Lewis Brewster, Houston Police Department
  • Kaila Marie Sullivan, Nassau Bay Police Department
  • Bryan Charles Pfluger, San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office
  • Clifton J. Martinez, San Antonio ISD Police Department
  • William Christopher Dickerson, Panola County Sheriff’s Office
  • Nicholas Lee Reyna, Lubbock Police Department
  • Alan Daniel McCollum, Corpus Christi Police Department
  • Richard E. Whitten, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office
  • Christopher Scott Korzilius, Travis County Sheriff’s Office
  • Amanda L. De Leon, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Justin Read Putnam, San Marcos Police Department
  • Jonathon Keith Goodman, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Akbar N. Shabazz, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • John Andrew Rhoden, Bell County Sheriff’s Office
  • Coy D. Coffman, Jr., Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • James D. Coleman, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Jason M. Knox, Houston Police Department
  • Caleb Daniel Rule, Fort Bend County Constable’s Office, Precinct 4
  • Ismael Z. Chavez, McAllen Police Department
  • Edelmiro Garza, Jr., McAllen Police Department
  • N. Kyle Coleman, Bexar County Fire Marshal’s Office
  • Sheena Dae Yarbrough-Powell, Beaumont Police Department
  • Walterio Rodriguez, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • James W. Weston, Jr., Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Peter John Herrera, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office
  • Lemuel Delray “DJ” Bruce, Jr., Houston Fire Marshal’s Office
  • Harold Lloyd Preston, Houston Police Department
  • Sean Sebastian Rios, Houston Police Department
  • M. Wayne Rhodes, Denton County Constable’s Office, Precinct 2

Austin police said the procession will begin on Rio Grande and there will be two eastbound lanes blocked on 15th Street as they make their way to House Park.

KXAN will livestream the procession and ceremony in this story and on Facebook. Check back for updates.

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