El Paso Police officer Angel Garcia remembered as 'happy, born leader' devoted to helping others

POSTED: 06:54 PM MST Dec 20, 2012    UPDATED: 08:11 PM MST Jan 14, 2014 
El Paso Police officer Angel Garcia
EL PASO, Texas -

The El Paso Police officer killed on the job Sunday, was shopping with underprivileged children for charity the day before he died.

Ron Martin, President of the El Paso Municipal Police Officers Association said officer Angel Garcia went in on his day off to shop with needy children for the Association's annual Cops Helping Kids event.

"He was smiling, happy, he had a good time, always joking," said Martin. In his obituary, his family wrote that Garcia's "true devotion was helping others."

Loved ones said goodbyes to the 27-year-old officer on Thursday during his funeral services at Martin Funeral Home East.

Martin said Garcia was the commander of his police academy class, who had graduated nine months ago and described him as a "natural born leader." Having served in the Marine Corps, Garcia taught the other officers military protocol the Police Department follows. "I know they looked up to him and they're taking it pretty hard," Martin said Thursday afternoon.

Garcia was killed Sunday afternoon on I-10 near Cielo Vista Mall while trying to remove a ladder from the roadway. He was hit in a chain reaction crash.

"We are saddened by the loss of our beloved son Angel David Garcia. Angel pursued his long-time dream of being a police officer with a positive and giving attitude. He loved life, his family, and most of all serving his country and community," wrote his family in a statement.

Martin said the Assocation planned to help the family with anything they needed. The Assocation can help with funeral costs and provided life insurance for officers and their families. "no matter what you say or do, you can't take away the pain or make it better. All you can do is be there for the family," said Martin.

On Thursday, Police Spokesman Chris Mears said the Special Traffic Investigation into Garcia's death was not yet completed and could potentially take "a few months."