Emotional service held for fallen officer

June 29, 2009 4:24:28 PM PDT
Hundreds of mourners gathered Monday morning to say goodbye to Houston Police Department Officer Henry Canales. [PHOTOS: Images from Monday's funeral service]

Officer Canales was killed last week while working undercover during a sting operation involving stolen televisions. He was shot in the back by the suspect, who was then shot to death by another officer.

The remains of Officer Canales arrived at Grace Community Church in southeast Houston just before 8:30am Monday. His wife of 18 years, Amor, their two children. Stephanie and Henry Jr., along with a host of other family members followed the flag draped casket into the church.

It was a death for which no one was prepared, least of all those who loved and cared for Officer Canales.

Canales wore an HPD uniform for 18 years. It's a tight-knit law enforcement family, none closer than those he worked with and was friends with.

"My grandfather once told me that a man is measured in wealth by the amount of friends who gather to mourn him," said Rodney Storms with the Houston Police Department. "Look around. Henry's a very, very wealthy man."

More than 1,000 people attended the service to honor the memory of Canales and comfort the wife and children to whom he was devoted. His life off the job was spent at a drag race track near his home with his family. His son and daughter raced with him.

On Monday, they listened to the tribute and heard the loud report of a 21-gun salute and the melancholy sound of bagpipes. It was a moving farewell to a police officer who gave his life in the line of duty, the ultimate sacrifice for hi and the family he leaves behind.

"I am honored to have such an amazing father that impacted so many lives. He loved us more than anything else in the world and he will forever be in my heart," said Stephanie Canales, Officer Canales' daughter "He's with the Lord right now watching over me. I love you so much, daddy, and I will always be your princess."

The man who helped start the organization, 'Beat the Heat,' which worked to stop illegal street racing, also spoke at the funeral today. It was an organization that Canales was deeply involved with.

"He's got a love for hot rods. He had a passion against the dangers of illegal street racing and he was a community minded person," said Lt. Tommy Hanson with the Galveston Police Department.

Officer Cananles' children vow to continue racing in their father's name. It's what he would have wanted.

The suspects

The suspected shooter in the case, Roberto Carrillo, was shot and killed by police Tuesday night. Investigators later searched his house and found several stolen items.

Two other suspects are also in jail, facing capital murder charges in the officer's death. Xiomara Mendez-Rosales and Andres Nava Maldonado. Even though they didn't pull the trigger, prosecutors said they are equally responsible for the death of Officer Canales.

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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