I was so pleased when county commissioners named a road for slain deputy Eugene Heimann last week.
I still remember the day Deputy Heimann was slain as if it were yesterday.
He was killed by a Mexican National in 1988. On the day of the shooting, the police scanner crackled with various conversations between deputies.
It wasn’t what they were saying; it was the tone of their voices that alerted me to something big, possibly devastating, taking place in a rural area of the county.
My husband, a now retired deputy sheriff, was employed with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department at that time, but he was asleep after a long night on duty.
Another deputy lived across the street. As I listened, I saw him wheel into his driveway in a patrol car. I ran across the street to see if he knew what was going on. It was only seconds after the initial call of something amiss had gone out.
He really didn’t know any of the details yet but he did know it was possible that a deputy had been shot.
Seconds later, it was confirmed and he was dispatched to an area of the county as patrol deputies were fanned out looking for the shooting suspect.
I knew from experience that calling the department would only slow the dispatching process down and right then that was the last thing they needed.
Instead, I left our home in Sugar Land and headed for the Sheriff’s Office. Once there, I was allowed to go back to patrol and wait for more information.
The whole department was in chaos. And, then Sheriff Gus George walked through the door and with a solemn face began taking control of the situation. It was obvious that he was extremely upset, but his very demeanor provided a calm that had previously not existed.
Ultimately the killer was captured. The funeral for Deputy Heimann was planned with the utmost care and sensitivity.
I remember taking photos, only to learn that I had been shaking so hard only one of a whole role was printable.
My tough reporter faÁade had been permeated. I was just the wife of a deputy sheriff watching the sad processional of another deputy wearing the same uniform.
I’m really glad that 21 years after the tragedy the commissioners provided a lasting memorial to one of their deputies.