Slain officer loved family, work

June 24, 2009 10:02:18 AM PDT
We're learning from his friends that Officer Henry Canales was a dedicated family man as well as a dedicated officer. He is survived by a wife and two children, who shared his love of drag racing. [PHOTOS: Images from the shooting scene and the hospital]

Officer Canales stood by his smiling 17-year-old daughter the day she graduated from high school.. He posed with his 15-year-old son, Henry Jr., to help him show off his latest drag racing trophy.

In family photographs, the Canaleses appear happy and united. But a single bullet brought an abrupt end to these memories Tuesday night, killing Officer Canales in the line of duty.

As officers ushered his wife, Amora, and their two children into Ben Taub Hospital, they say they saw a family devastated.

"He's a good guy and I know he loved his family," said family friend and neighbor Jess Williams.

Williams told us he heard the news and sent text messages to both of the Canales children, who responded their mother didn't want anyone visiting.

"They said they hadn't been to sleep all night. It's gotta be rough," said Williams.

Fellow officers also kept vigil overnight outside the emergency room where Canales died. They described him as a hero to his family and to the people of Houston, who he served proudly for 16 years.

"He loved his job. He loved what he did," said Lt. Scott Dombrowski with the Houston Police Department. "And he was very good at it."

Canales was with the auto theft division of the Houston Police Department for the past seven years. He was also very active in drag racing and raced with an organization called 'Beat the Heat,' which tried to stop street racing.

Recent HPD officer shootings

The last time a Houston police officer was shot was March 5. Rick Salter was shot in the face during a drug raid in east Houston. He was hospitalized following the shooting. The man suspected of shooting him, Wifido Joel Alfaro, was shot and killed by other officers who were involved in the raid.

And back in December, 11-year HPD veteran Tim Abernethy was killed. He was murdered during a foot chase in northwest Houston. The 43-year-old left behind a wife and two children.

Helping out

"The 100 Club of Houston" will help Officer Canales's family cover his funeral expenses. If you'd like to make a donation, visit the 100 Club of Houston website to help the families of Houston Police Officers killed in the line of duty.

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