HFD arson investigator Lemuel 'DJ' Bruce's memorial to take place Thursday

Miya Shay Image
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Traffic pauses for fallen HFD investigator's procession
WATCH: Firefighters lined up to honor HFD Arson Investigator Lemuel Bruce.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Arson investigator Lemuel "DJ" Bruce will be remembered this Thursday with a march and memorial involving his fellow Houston firefighters.

The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association said Bruce's memorial service will happen at Lakewood Church. A pre-service march gets underway at 10 a.m., and the memorial is set at 11 a.m.

On Monday, drivers on the roads and freeways in the Houston area gave way to a police-escorted procession for HFD arson investigator Lemuel "DJ" Bruce, who died while serving surveillance in the Heights area last week.

Bruce's procession started from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences on Old Spanish Trail, with his firefighter comrades standing in salute.

The procession moved on to the freeways in the direction of Tomball's Klein Funeral Home.

On the North Freeway, with traffic cleared, Bruce's body and his escorts drove by a line of firefighters standing and saluting while on the shoulder of I-45.

At the scene where Bruce was shot and killed, a small memorial was erected by retired firefighter Richard Kercho and current firefighter John Ortiz.

"There's no way to prepare for that," said Ortiz. "You go out, do your job and hope to see your family and friends. It's unfortunate it ended this way."

Bruce was conducting surveillance during an arson investigation last Friday when he got into a confrontation with a suspect where they exchanged gunfire.

The suspect, Joshua Delacerda, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene. About an hour later, Bruce died from his injuries at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

Arson investigator was 1st in HFD's history to be killed in line of duty

Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena announces the death of HFD Arson Investigator Lemuel Bruce, a 17-year veteran of the department.

Bruce was 44 years old, was married with two children - ages 12 and 8, and was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

He began his career with the Houston Fire Department in 2003, and over the years, was assigned to HFD Stations 77, 96, 42, 64, 6 and 12.

WATCH: Press play on the video below to hear what we learned about the investigator

HFD Chief Samuel Pena is asking for prayers for Lemuel Bruce's wife and two young children. Here's what we learned about the investigator.

He joined the HFD Fire & Arson Investigation Division five years ago.

Bruce is the fourth member of the Houston Fire Department to die in the line of duty since July. Three others were lost due to COVID-19 and complications from the illness.

SEE ALSO: HFD arson investigator dies after shooting with suspect

Lemuel Bruce's fire dept. family was there Friday morning for the dignified transport to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. This is the scene from SkyEye.

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