Fallen HPD officer remembered by family, friends

May 29, 2011 8:31:33 PM PDT
Friends and fellow officers are remembering a fallen Houston police officer killed in the line of duty Sunday by a suspected drunken driver. Ofc. Kevin Will, 38, was working a crash scene on the 610 North Loop at Yale when he was hit by a car.

Eyewitnesses say the officer made sure others got out of the way seconds before the crash.

According to police, the driver who hit him went around a barrier and into the crash scene. That's when the officer was hit.

The driver of that car was identified as 26-year-old Johoan Rodriguez. He was taken into custody at the scene, then treated for injuries at Ben Taub General Hospital.

Rodriguez was charged Sunday night with intoxication manslaughter of a peace office, felony evading in a motor vehicle and possession of a controlled substance.

His immigration status is also being checked by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

As word of the tragic crash spread in the Will's neighborhood, signs of sympathy were placed by children who play with the officer's little girl and boy.

"It's just a tremendous shock," Houston Police Department Chief Charles McClelland said. "One minute you are in roll call with your co-worker and comrade, and an hour or two later they are dead."

Will joined HPD in 2009. Fellow officers say earlier Saturday morning, he talked about the one year anniversary of his assignment to vehicular crimes.

It was work he loved.

"Young, energetic, his co-workers cared about him," McClelland said.

Will was investigating a hit and run accident early Saturday involving an injured motorcyclist when investigators say Rodriguez drove right into the police barricade, ignoring all warnings and striking Will.

McClelland says Will saw the vehicle coming. The witness he was interviewing had his back to the oncoming Volkswagen Beetle, but officer Will yelled, giving that witness just a second to leap over a concrete barrier.

"According to him, he heard the impact before he hit the ground, but he credits Officer Will with giving him the prior warning to get out of the way. It actually saved his life," McClelland said.

As a department, family and friends mourn the loss of a hero, McClelland reminds the community of the sacrifices made.

"He loved his work and gave his life to this city trying to keep it safe on such an important weekend," McClelland said.

Will is survived by his wife -- who is six months pregnant -- and two children, ages six and 10.

It's been a year since the last HPD officer was killed in the line of duty. Ofc. Eydelmen Mani died when his patrol car hit a guardrail on the North Fwy. near Parker last May.

Stay with us for continuing coverage of Will's death. We'll bring you updates on Eyewitnes News and abc13.com.


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