ONLY ON 13: Company to donate custom caskets to families of fallen Baton Rouge officers

Jessica Willey Image
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Houston company making custom caskets for Baton Rouge officers
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Houston company making custom caskets for Baton Rouge officers.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Texas company is donating custom caskets for three officers who were killed in Baton Rouge by a man targeting police.

Trey Ganem Designs has spent hours researching each fallen officer, speaking to his family and designing his casket. On Thursday morning, the caskets will be escorted by dozens of local officers to Louisiana. Eyewitness News was with Trey Ganem and his team as they were perfecting them.

"It's a lot of responsibility and it has to be passionate and it has to be perfect," said Ganem. "Knowing these guys were out there to protect and serve, I want to do my part."

Baton Rouge police Corporal Montrell Jackson, Officer Matthew Gerald and Deputy Brad Garafola Sr. of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office were gunned down last Sunday outside a gas station by a man targeting police.

"This is just heartbreaking that it happened but we want to try to help the families," Ganem said.

A year ago, Ganem converted his custom car shop in Edna to a custom casket shop. Edna is about 90 miles southwest of Houston.

In his research, he learned what is important to each of the officer's families. The wife of Officer Gerald wanted his military background represented as well as his family. He had two children. Corporal Jackson's wife thought of him as Superman. His will have a Superman shield. Garafola's family wanted a collage of family photos inside. Everything outside will be removable because they plan to donate the casket, knowing, sadly, there will be another fallen officer.

A personalized casket brings loved ones joy, Ganem says.

"When people see it for the first time, their whole mood changes," he said.

He wanted to give that gift, especially since he used to work in law enforcement. Ganem will be among the caravan escorting the caskets Thursday morning. He hopes his contribution somehow helps.

"I'm saying thank you, thank you for your service," said Ganem.