POSTED: Friday, October 15, 2010 - 11:54am
UPDATED: Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 6:57am
El Paso – Holding candles, and illuminated by the flashing emergency lights of police cars, more than 100 people gathered near the intersection of Zaragoza and Saul Kleinfeld last night.
That is the spot where just a day earlier, Officer Karl McDonough lost his life to an alleged drunk driver.
McDonough's family, friends and loved ones are dealing with an unimaginable loss. But most in the crowd last night were his fellow police officers.
“I'm still in shock and disbelief at what happened," said Officer Patrick Martinez, who worked with McDonough at Pebble Hills Regional Command.
"He was a great person, easy to get along with and he brought a smile into the room every time he walked in. We loved him and we're going to miss him a whole lot," said Martinez.
McDonough was in the passenger seat of a police car when investigators say 19-year-old Alejandro Fierro, who was allegedly driving drunk, ran a red light around 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Fierro's car t-boned the police car.
McDonough died at the scene. Ricardo Lopez, the other officer who was driving the police car, is still recovering in the hospital.
Even members of law enforcement who didn't know officer McDonough are shocked.
“It's like having a brother die. You don't know him but we're brothers in arms," said Texas State Trooper Patrick Brookshier.
Tragically, police say McDonough and Lopez were responding to a call about a drunk driver when the crash happened.