HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A sea of blue filled a church Friday afternoon as hundreds of Houston police officers, family and friends gathered to remember an officer killed in the line of duty.
Officer Richard Martin was killed on Monday while putting down spike strips during a police chase. The man he was chasing, Jeffrey Conlin, 33, shot himself at the end of the chase. He died on Tuesday.
On Friday, Houston police officers escorted Martin's hearse from the George H. Lewis funeral home to Grace Community Church, where there wasn't a dry eye in the room.
The four-year HPD veteran left a job overseeing a warehouse to live out his dream of becoming an officer. His popularity was evident as hundreds came out to support his two children, who were front and center of the honor guard ceremony.
"He was my Superman. I never really thought this would happen. It still seems so fake, this whole week has been unreal," Martin's daughter Cynthia Martin said.
Officer Martin's 11-year-old son Tyler couldn't muster the courage to speak, but in a letter read by an officiant, he made his father a promise: "I will be a good kid and adult. I will follow my dreams and play hard in the major leagues, then I will follow in your footsteps in being a police officer."
Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland also was very emotional when we spoke to him immediately after the ceremony.
"Police officers across the nation are catching so much grief and criticism right now and nobody tell them that they're doing a good job," McClelland said. "People like Officer Martin going out here every single day and night and risking their life."
McClelland said he wanted the community to be more vocal than the critics and hopes that through this tragedy his officers get the recognition they deserve.
Officer Martin was from Oklahoma. His body will be escorted back to his home state, where he will be buried on Sunday.
Martin leaves behind two children. null