Friends and family honor fallen Harris Co. Pct. 4 deputy at funeral today

The visitation for Deputy Kareem Atkins was open to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Champion Forest Baptist Church.

Pooja Lodhia Image
Monday, October 25, 2021
Fallen Harris Co. Pct. 4 deputy to be laid to rest today
Deputy Kareem Atkins' father remembered him as a man who was willing to do "whatever it takes to protect his family, his kids, his wife."

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Harris County Precinct 4 Deputy Constable who was shot and killed while working an extra security job has been laid to rest.

Friends and family of Deputy Kareem Atkins processed from Klein Funeral Home to Champion Forest Baptist Church Monday morning.

A family-only visitation and funeral service was held at the church, followed by a public viewing.

Even as the suspect in the case is still on the run, today is about honoring a man for his service to the community.

Atkins leaves behind a wife, a 2-year-old daughter and a 6-month-old son.

"I hope they remember him as a good deputy," said his father, Cecil Atkins. "Someone who's always on the job, who is willing to do whatever it takes to protect our citizens. Whatever it takes to protect his family, his kids, his wife."

His wife, Nadia Aweineh, said he had always wanted to work in law enforcement.

"That's all I ever heard about," she said. "He couldn't wait, and he was going to do anything he could to get there. And he made it."

She said the family was excited for the future.

Before he was ambushed, they were planning a trip to Walt Disney World.

"We just bought our brand new home, we had just moved in," said Aweineh. "The fact that he died the night before we were supposed to leave for Florida to take our kids to Disney World says everything."

He had just returned from paternity leave when he was shot and killed. There is now a $75,000 reward for information leading to the person who killed him and injured two other deputy constables - Darryl Garrett and Juqaim Barthen.

Those who know the deputies say they were best friends.

The three men worked together at the Precinct 4 Deputy Constable's Office, and they all worked an extra security job together at a bar on the North Freeway on the morning of Oct. 16.

As they tried to make an arrest, investigators say a man ambushed them with an AR-15 before running away.

Atkins was killed at the scene, and both Garrett and Barthen were shot multiple times.

Barthen was released from the hospital last week, but Garrett is still in the hospital with multiple injuries.

ABC13 talked to his fiancée, who described the struggle of telling him that his fellow deputy and friend was killed.

"My biggest fear is telling him, and he's not going to get any closure. He's not going to be able to, you know, say goodbye to him one more time," Lajah Richardson said. "That was the last time and he, he's not going to be able to just get to say one more thing to him."

Garrett is still recovering after being shot in the back more than two weeks ago.

A BBQ benefit was held for him yesterday. Funds were raised to help his family with any expenses, including hospital parking.

Richardson says doctors are anticipating a kidney transplant for Garrett, but they're waiting for him to leave the ICU. She doesn't know when that will happen.

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