Hundreds of New York City police officers lined Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in a farewell salute Monday to a former NYPD colleague who was gunned down last week in a Euless park.
A memorial Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral was said for Euless officer David Hofer. A Euless officer carried a cherrywood box with Hofer’s ashes to the altar, near some daisies and a sign that read “Blue Lives Matter.”
His finacee, Marta Danylyk, with whom he had built a house in Plano, wept quietly, sitting close to his mother, Sonja Hofer, and his father, Helmut Hofer.
“He went to Texas to make a good life, but once you put a shield on your chest, you’re always in danger,” Pat Lynch, head of New York’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said after the service.
A New York University graduate, Hofer spent five years working in New York’s Ninth Precinct in the East Village. He left two years ago for Euless, whose police department has welcomed several former NYPD officers to its ranks.
On a sunny Monday morning, the mournful strains of a lone bagpiper playing Amazing Grace floated over Fifth Avenue as Hofer’s remains were carried out of the cathedral, the seat of New York’s Roman Catholic archdiocese.
Monsignor Robert Ritchie, who presided over the Mass, summed up Hofer’s life in three words from the pulpit: “Respect, honor, love.”
The 29-year-old officer was killed Tuesday afternoon while responding to reports of shots fired in J.A. Carr Park in Euless. He was ambushed by Jorge Brian Gonzalez, 22, who, police said stole firearms from a home, fired random shots and took a “position of cover” in a park drainage ditch several hours after being released from jail.
Another officer returned fire, killing Gonzalez, and Hofer and Gonzalez were pronounced dead at hospitals soon after.
On Saturday, thousands attended a memorial service at Pennington Field, the 12,500 seat football stadium. Thousands more lined the streets for a funeral procession that shut down the Airport Freeway and Precinct Line Road.
At that service he was remembered as much for good humor and kindness as for his unwavering dedication to law enforcement.
“What I remember about David is his humor and his smile, and his enormous heart, “ Euless Police Chief Michael Brown said in his eulogy. “You could say that David Hofer is one of those rare people you meet in life who led with his heart.”
This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.