A memorial kept growing outside Pearland PD as those who knew him or barely at all showed up to pay their respects.
"We're citizens of Pearland," said Silvia Ramos. "We're saddened by the loss."
Over a dark sky, in spite of the rain, one person after another arrived to the memorial site with flowers and balloons.
"It's just hard for everybody he left behind," said Desiree Owens, a Pearland Police Department academy cadet.
Ekpanya, who was just 30 years old, was killed Sunday morning in the line of duty. He was on his way to a non-emergency call when a woman, who police believe may have been under the influence, crashed into his patrol car.
"I text him to see if he was OK and it was him," said Owens in tears.
On June 12, 2016 at approximately 0315 hours the Pearland Police Department was notified of a major accident... https://t.co/RLXy9mIbqn— Pearland Police (@PearlandPD) June 12, 2016
Owens says she last saw him Friday night.
"I've never had anyone influence my life so quickly," said Owens, who looked up to the fallen officer. "He wanted to work the streets for five years and he wanted to be a detective too."
The officer leaves behind a 2-year-old son and a fiancé. Eyewitness News spoke to his aunt who is currently in New York with his parents and two older brothers helping them cope with their loss.
"He was a good son he was a good father he was a good human being a good person," said the aunt.
BREAKING: Pearland officer killed in car crash. @abc13houston— Foti Kallergis (@FotiKallergis) June 12, 2016
She said he wanted to be a good influence to her son and was hoping to impact his community.
"He wanted to be a good person just doing everything that was required of him," she said.
The family said Ekpanya received two degrees from a university in New York and two master's from the University of Maryland.
Pearland PD said this is the first time in 40 years that an officer dies in the line of duty.