LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – It was an emotional farewell Sunday, as funeral services were held for murdered Hatch Police Officer Jose Chavez.
Chavez was someone his colleagues say embodied an American success story. He died after being shot during a traffic stop last week. Sunday thousands gathered to pay their final respects.
“Jose understood that being a cop is calling, not a job. It was at the core of his being,” said Doña Ana Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Kelly Jameson.
It was a job Chavez was just a couple years into but had always dreamed of doing, a job he fulfilled literally until his last breath.
In a letter from the Hatch Police Department, the crowd heard how even as he lay dying Chavez was listening to his police radio, making sure the correct description of the suspects who allegedly shot him was being broadcasted.
“Jose had the presence of mind to correct the BOLO to two white males,” said Jameson. “That very clear heroic moment when Jose made that correction greatly contributed to the arrest of those two individuals.”
Officer Chavez was also remembered for his fondness of animals. He handled a lot of the stray animal calls in Hatch.
Officer Chavez leaves behind his parents, siblings and two daughters, just 6 and 14-years-old. Members of the Hatch Police Department and other nearby law enforcement communities pledged Sunday to always be there for Chavez’s daughters.