Dozens of law enforcement vehicles Friday provided a 100-mile escort for fallen trooper Damon Allen on a procession from Dallas to a funeral home in Teague, Texas.
Allen, 41, died on Thanksgiving Day after being shot by a suspect during a traffic stop on I-45 just south of Fairfield in Freestone County.
Allen lived near Teague with his wife and three children and grew up in nearby Mexia, Texas in Limestone County.
On Friday, friends who knew Allen long before he joined law enforcement shared thoughts and reflections on a man most just knew as "Damon."
Kristi Beard graduated with Allen from Mexia High School in 1995. The transportation provider for Teague Independent School District says she would see her former classmate in a number of spots around the area, often patrolling.
She says his message to her just three weeks ago came as a pleasant surprise.
"He texted me on Facebook and said 'hey I pulled your daughter over'," Beard recalled. "And I said thank you for telling me."
Reading the exchange on Friday, Beard said it was difficult to process it was the last time she would hear from Allen.
"He was just a really good guy and he's going to be missed by all of us," Beard said.
Carlos Carter shares the same feelings of disbelief, grief, and anger.
"We're so mad we can't stand it, we're also so hurt we can't stand it," Carter said.
Carter met Allen while in middle school in Mexia and says the father of three was always kind and reflected an attitude among law enforcement the public doesn't see every day.
"He never became an officer to just arrest people, Damon was an officer because he wanted to help people," Carter said.
Unable to sleep early Friday after the tragic news spread through the town of 7700, Carter looked at Facebook and saw a memory pop up from one year ago.
"It was last Thanksgiving that he pulled me over, yeah," Carter smiled. "And I was just like wow, wow, wow. I was grateful last year for him not giving me a ticket. This year I'm grateful he gave his life, just to help people."
Friday afternoon Allen's body was released from the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office and began a 2-hour drive back home, just a few miles from where he lost his life serving fellow Texans.
A funeral for Allen will be held on Friday, Dec. 1 at the Mexia High School football stadium in Mexia.
"Mexia lost somebody really really good yesterday," Carter said.
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