KENDALL COUNTY, Texas - A mile marker in Kendall County is serving as a memorial for a fallen officer who died in the line of duty on Tuesday morning.
- Fatally struck along I-10
- Thin blue flag tied to mile marker 533
- Family accepting donations
According to the Kendall County Sheriff's Department, Deputy Carlos Ramirez and his partner were performing a traffic stop along I-10 when Ramirez was fatally struck by a driver on the roadway.
"[The scanner] just said, 'officer down' and that is just something no one wants to hear," said Paul Duran.
Duran is a volunteer firefighter with the Boerne Fire Department. He heard the call on his pager when Ramirez was hit.
"And there was no update for a while because, of course, they're busy doing things but when you're getting that page it's heart sinking," Duran said.
A thin blue flag is now tied to mile marker 533, which is near the roadway where Ramirez died. It's also minutes down the road from Apache Rifleworks, where Duran works.
"It's tough to see. I appreciate the gesture, it's amazing but it's just hard to drive by," he said.
Due to their similar line of work, Duran said he knew of Ramirez and says the deputy always had a smile on his face. Now that the he is gone, Duran said he felt compelled to help out his family.
Ramirez leaves behind a wife and two young children.
"We got set up with the 100 Club of Kendall County to be a hub for donations for [the family]," Duran said.
Thousands of dollars have already been raised. Duran is also planning on raffling off a handgun, with a hundred percent of the proceeds going towards the 100 Club. Others have shown their support for the family by offering condolences.
"I just put my name and that my thoughts are with the family," said Gene Serene, a Kendall County constable.
He wrote his message on a banner placed outside the sheriff's office by the 100 Club. It's covered with hundreds of signatures.
"I wrote they are in my prayers," said Cindy Serene, Gene's wife.
Back at the rifle shop, Duran is planning on honoring Ramirez in one final way.
"It's a wall where we honor people that have given their lives and served our country," he said.
On the wall in his shop are fallen heroes from abroad and at home. Fallen San Antonio police officers Miguel Moreno and Benjamin Marconi are pictured. It also includes fallen firefighter Scott Deem.
"He'll be placed here somewhere in the middle just because we knew him very well. He was a friend," he said.
Funeral services will be held on July 11 at 1:30 p.m. at Oak Hills Church. Graveside services and interment will be held on July 16 at 11:30 a.m. in the Ft. Bliss National Cemetery, El Paso, Texas with military honors.
For more information on giving to the Ramirez family, click here.