Sgt. P. Mendoza was headed for an officer’s funeral in New York when he found a sweet handwritten note in his luggage, according to a Fort Worth Police Department Facebook post.
The note, written by his 8-year-old daughter, reads, “Dear Dad, I’m sorry about NYPD officer. I pray and hope this violence stops. You are my hero, be careful and be safe. Grace, mom and I are going to miss you. WE LOVE YOU! Love, Emily.”
Mendoza is a member of the Brotherhood for the Fallen, an organization that provides emotional and financial support when an officer is killed in the line of duty by paying travel expenses for officers to attend funeral services across the country, said Officer Jimmy Pollozani, Fort Worth chapter president.
Three members are traveling to New York with Mendoza. Others are traveling to four different funerals in Iowa, Utah and Georgia, after 12 officers were killed in 10 days, Pollozani said.
Mendoza is going to New York for the funeral of Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, a 19-year veteran of the New York Police Department who was killed in the line of duty Friday.
He was responding with two other officers to a home invasion call when the suspect opened fire. Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo was also shot in the leg but is expected to recover. The suspect, Manuel Rosales, was killed on scene when officers returned fire, according to nytimes.com.
The Fort Worth Brotherhood for the Fallen has two members traveling to Iowa this week for the funerals of Officer Justin Martin, 24, of the Urbandale Police Department and Sgt. Anthony Bemino, 38, of the Des Moines Police Department, who were killed last Wednesday in Iowa, desmoinesregister.com reported.
Scott Michael Greene, 46, is suspected to have shot the officers while they were sitting in their patrol cars about two miles apart, CNN.com reported.
Two more members are traveling to Utah for Officer Cody Brotherson, 25, of the West Valley City Police Department, who was struck by a vehicle and killed Sunday morning while trying to catch three people suspected of stealing a car, fox6now.com reported.
Another two Fort Worth Brotherhood of the Fallen officers will be traveling to Georgia for the funerals of Deputy Daryl Smallwood, 39, and Sgt. Patrick Sondron, 41, of the Peach County Sheriff’s Department, according to 13wmaz.com.
The officers responded to a call reporting a dispute among neighbors, which led them to the home where the suspect, Rod Stanley Elrod, lived. The ensuing shootout ended with both officers dead. Elrod remains in the hospital with a gunshot wound, 13wmaz.com reported.
This report contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.