Fallen Central Texas trooper to be laid to rest after funeral service
GROESBECK, Texas (KWTX) – For five days after Department of Public Safety Trooper Chad Walker was shot as he pulled off a Limestone County road to help a disabled motorist, family, friends, neighbors and colleagues prayed for a miracle.
On Wednesday, the prayers will be for the slain trooper’s wife and four children as Walker is laid to rest in a small country cemetery seven miles west of Groesbeck, where he grew up.
Schools, the county courthouse, and many businesses are closed Wednesday in Groesbeck as residents of the town of about 4,200 pause to mourn the death of the veteran law enforcement officer whom, it seems, just about everybody knew.
“Our hearts are with the family and friends of Trooper Walker as they grieve his tragic death in the line of duty,” said Governor Greg Abbott, who is expected to attend the service Wednesday.
“Trooper Walker’s horrific murder is a solemn reminder of the dangers law enforcement officers face every day to keep our communities safe.
The funeral service, which begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Groesbeck High School Football Stadium at 1202 North Ellis St., is open to the public.
Walker will be escorted at 8 a.m. Wednesday from Groesbeck Funeral Home, where fellow officers have stood vigil since last week, to the stadium.
The town is bedecked in blue ribbons in Walker’s honor, and residents across Central Texas are being asked to wear blue Wednesday.
“At a time like this there’s just no words to say. You wish you had them you wish you knew the words to ease the pain and grief that not only the family has but the whole community has,” Limestone County Judge Richard Duncan said.
“There’s folks that have gone out and worked hard [putting up blue ribbons] for their own grief really, a way to share their grief over what’s happened to the Walker family.”
Walker’s18-year law enforcement career started in 2003 when he joined the Groesbeck Police Department.
He later served as an officer in Athens and with the Henderson and Limestone county sheriff’s offices before joining the DPS in 2015.
He was just one of the best Texas peace officers I’ve ever met,” Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said.
“Chad was doing exactly what he loved to do,” he said.
“He was a true servant.
“We all still love him and will do everything we can to support him and his family.”
Walker, whose grandfather, Dennis Walker, was Limestone County’s sheriff from the late 1970s until the mid-1990s, was driving southwest at around 7:45 p.m. March 26 on FM 2838 when he spotted a disabled vehicle stopped on the shoulder of the road.
As he pulled up behind the vehicle, the car’s driver got out and opened fire with a handgun.
Walker, who was struck in the head and the abdomen, was taken to a Waco hospital in critical condition.
He died five days later at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, after sharing the gift of life as an organ donor.
State troopers were joined by area deputies and police officers in a massive search for the gunman, who was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“Our DPS family is absolutely heartbroken at the loss of one of our brothers in uniform who was killed in the line of duty,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said after Walker’s death.
Walker is survived by his wife, Tobie, a son, twin daughters and a 2-month-old daughter.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help the family.
The 100 Club Heart of Texas committed all of the proceeds from the club’s Good Friday Fundraiser to the fallen trooper’s family.
Walker was the third DPS trooper to die in the line of duty in Central Texas since 2017.
On Nov. 4, 2017, Senior DPS Trooper Thomas Nipper, 63, was killed when a pickup crashed into his patrol car during a traffic stop on Interstate 35 in Temple.
Less than three weeks later, on Nov. 23, 2017, Trooper Damon Allen, 41, was shot to death after a traffic stop on Interstate 45 south of Fairfield.
Like Walker, he was sitting in his patrol unit when the driver of the car he pulled over shot him.
Allen was remembered at a service in December 2017 at Mexia High School Football Stadium.
Gov. Greg Abbott was among the mourners.
Allen graduated in 1995 from Mexia High School, where he played football, and worked briefly at what is now the Mexia State Assisted Living Center and then for five years at a state prison unit before becoming a state trooper in 2002.
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