Former co-worker: Slain HPD officer was living crime-fighting dream

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Officer Richard Martin had just reached his dream four years ago and no one was more proud than his former co-workers.

When you work for a company for more than two decades, your co-workers also become your family. That's how Stephanie Walter of SP Richards saw Martin.

"He was a big joker. A family man, loves kids, proud of his daughter, that son of his doing real well in baseball," she said.

Walter, the inventory control supervisor, watched Martin manage the warehouse of the wholesale office supply company. She says she just saw Officer Martin three weeks ago.

"We had made some changes to the warehouse so I showed him what had changed. Even though a lot changes it's still the same," she said.

The branch did so well they were recognized with a branch of the year party for 2007. But Martin had always wanted to become a police officer, and so at 43, he did. Walter, who has been with the company for 36 years says no one was more proud of him.

"That's what he wanted to do and he said I've got to go for it. Four years ago applied, got on, turned in his notice and we were so happy for him," she said.

Officer Martin worked out of West Side Command, where the flags are now flying at half staff in his honor.

"He loved it, loved doing it," says Walter.

Employees learned the news Monday morning that a Houston police officer had been killed and they feared it was the man who was just a few years into his dream career.

"You are lucky to find people out there willing to do that kind of job for the money that they pay. It's a special person that's going to do that," Walter said.

Now a life has been cut short, a career ended so early and a family is without a father.

"I think he would want to be known as a great dad who cared about his kids a lot," says Walter.

Officer Martin is survived by his ex-wife, his 22-year-old daughter and his 11-year-old son.
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