Mission continues to honor fallen officer

MISSION — City, state and federal officials continued to commemorate their fallen hero, Cpl. Jose Luis “Speedy” Espericueta who died in the line of duty last month, during a city council meeting Monday.

Espericueta’s family were the honored guests during Monday’s meeting, including his wife, Roberta “Bobbie” Espericueta, and their two children, Brianna and Joaquin.

The city council unanimously approved a proclamation that declared Oct. 4, 2019 — his birthday — as Cpl. Jose Luis “Speedy” Espericueta Jr. Day in the city.

“A man of courage, strength, generosity — (Espericueta) gave unselfishly to others, and his enthusiasm for living each day to the fullest will not be forgotten,” Police Chief Robert Dominguez recited. “(He) was beloved by all who were privileged to share his life and leaves behind memories that will be treasured forever by his family and countless friends.”

Read our past coverage on Cpl. Espericueta.

A 13-year-veteran with the Mission police department, Espericueta died June 20 after he responded to a call of an armed man.

The suspect fled when Espericueta attempted to make contact but then turned around and began discharging a firearm. In the ensuing exchange of gunfire between the suspect and the responding officers, both Espericueta and the suspect were fatally wounded.

Espericueta was 44 years old at the time.

The community, as well as police officers from around the nation, gathered to bid him farewell during a funeral service last week.

During Monday’s meeting, Nicole Hernandez, outreach coordinator for U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, read a “congressional record” — addressed to the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — that honored and recognized Espericueta for his service.

“It is important to remember that law enforcement officials risk their lives every day for our safety,” Hernandez recited from Cuellar’s statement. “(Cpl. Espericueta’s) legacy will live on through the lives of the many people he helped to protect.”

Following the remarks, Hernandez presented his family with a framed U.S. flag.

Assistant City Manager Aida Lerma — joined by State Reps. Bobby Guerra, D-Mission, and Sergio Muñoz Jr., D-Palmview —- read out loud a state resolution commemorating Espericueta. Afterward, Guerra and Muñoz presented a framed Texas flag that was flown over the Texas capitol to the family.

Noted in the resolution was Espericueta’s love for the Dallas Cowboys, of which the team apparently got word.

On Sunday, Sean Lee, a linebacker for the team, issued a video message to Espericueta’s family on behalf of the team.

“We are thinking of you during your tough time. Jose is an absolute hero,” Lee said in the video. “We’re sending our prayers and our love from the Cowboys.”

Victor De Leon, Espericueta’s brother-in-law, thanked the council and the community for their support.

“The amount of support has been beyond generous and overwhelming and far expands the city limits of Mission — from the entire state and across the nation and beyond,” De Leon said. “Thank you all for taking your time today to recognize and honor my brother-in-law and for doing this for his family.”

bereniceg@themonitor.com