The funeral for fallen San Antonio Police Officer Miguel Moreno, 32, who passed away last Friday after a near-downtown shooting left one suspect dead and a fellow officer injured, will take place on Friday at Community Bible Church.
The service will begin at 10 a.m. and is open to the public, San Antonio Fire Department officials said, but the following private interment is for family and authorized SAPD officers only. A procession of emergency vehicles will gather at the Alamodome at 7 a.m. and depart to Community Bible Church at 8 a.m.
“We anticipate there will be officers from all over the state – It’s going to be huge,” SAPD Deputy Joseph MacKay told the Rivard Report Monday. “Expect a cluster on [U.S. Highway] 281 and Loop 1604. Be prepared for a lot of traffic.”
On Thursday, there will be a viewing at Porter Loring Mortuary from 5-7 p.m., with a service beginning at 7 p.m. Officers and the public may attend until 9 p.m.
While on patrol on Thursday, Moreno and Officer Julio Cavazos stopped two individuals who were acting suspiciously on West Evergreen Street north of downtown. When the officers got out of their car, one suspect identified as Andrew Bice, 34, pulled out a gun and shot both officers.
“Officer [Moreno] went down by the driver’s door,” SAPD Chief William McManus said Thursday. “Officer Cavazos pulled him from the line of fire to the front of the vehicle and then returned fire himself after being shot in the chin,” McManus said. Cavazos shot Bice in the buttocks, but then Bice shot himself in the head, police said.
Moreno died on Friday at San Antonio Military Medical Center shortly after 11 a.m. Cavazos was taken to the hospital for his injuries but was released Tuesday.
“We are happy to report that Officer Julio Cavazos has been released from the hospital,” SAPD spokesperson Jesus Salame said in Tuesday statement. “He and his family want to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this difficult time.”
The other suspect, identified by SAPD as William Lawson, was taken into custody following the shooting Thursday. He was later named a witness and then released, but was arrested Saturday on unrelated charges. Lawson, 30, was in possession of heroin and a .22-caliber firearm.
Moreno, a 9-year SAPD veteran and Lanier High School graduate, is survived by his mother, father, three sisters, and a brother. Moreno is the 14th officer killed in the line of duty since 2000, according to the San Antonio Express-News. MacKay reflected on the moving funerals of firefighter Scott Deem, who died last month while fighting a large fire at a Northwest side shopping center, and SAPD Det. Benjamin Marconi who was killed in November 2016 after being shot in the head outside SAPD headquarters.
“It’s mind-boggling for us to see all the people line up on the side of the road on the highway,” MacKay said. “Sometimes you get the feeling nobody cares so it’s really cool [to see that].”
In the wake of Moreno’s death, the 100 Club of San Antonio announced on Monday that it will present “a monetary gift” to both the Moreno’s and Cavazos’ family to provide support during this difficult time.
“We’re now able to help injured officers as well, so we will be helping both families and will meet with them very soon to help them with things such as travel and all the things that come with the loss,” 100 Club of San Antonio President Richard Miller said. “More important is that it is a gift from a grateful community … When that check is presented, tears often flow freely.”
Since 1973, the nonprofit 100 Club of San Antonio has provided financial support to the families of fallen first responders in Bexar County. The organization also provides higher education assistance for the children who survive their first responder parents.
The U.S. Justice Department’s Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program provides death and educational benefits to first responders’ families. Family members are eligible for up to $343,589 in benefits, but must file a claim with program administrators.
“We don’t have the words … it’s so overwhelming, the support we get from our citizens like people walking up to that makeshift memorial [at the entrance of] the [Public Safety Headquarters] building,” MacKay said. “They say things like, ‘How can I help the family?’ Give it to the 100 Club; it’s been so wonderful. I know I live in the right city, thanks so much for what you do.”
Miller said the 100 Club also offers other services to law enforcement officers, such as 911 self defense, the issuance of a medical field kit, defensive tactics training, specialized skills courses for women in law enforcement, and verbal de-escalation training. The organization is currently looking to implement coping and counseling skills not only for the family of the fallen and injured, but for union members or police officers affected by the loss.
“It’s very difficult for the 100 Club to go through the loss of Det. Marconi, firefighter Deem, and the loss of officer Moreno,” Miller said, holding back tears. “These [deaths] are coming much too often for the community. The outpouring from our community from these continued shocks has been tremendous … We are very thankful for our community and what they do for our officers.”