It was a difficult year for the Austin Police Department, as they suffered the loss of one of their own.
The death of Senior Officer Jaime Padron earlier this year shook not only the department—but the entire community.
Officer Padron was responding to a call of an intoxicated person inside Walmart near Parmer Lane and Interstate 35 during the early morning hours of April 6.
Police said that when he arrived, Padron grappled with the suspect, later identified as 24-year-old Brandon Daniel, wrestling him to the ground.
Daniel, however, was armed and fired a shot, hitting the police officer and father of two in the neck.
"Without warning and without justification, this guy just took a gun out and shot him in the throat," Police Chief Art Acevedo said.
Two Walmart employees quickly sprung into action. Police said they were able to wrestle Daniel to the ground and get the gun out of his hands, but not before the 24-year-old fired two more shots, both missing their targets.
The senior police officer had worked with the Austin Police Department for more than three years.
"Officer Padron will be missed,” Chief Acevedo said. He will never be forgotten. I guarantee you that this city, this department will bury our hero with the honors that he deserves."
Thousands of people attended the fallen officer's funeral services at Shoreline Christian Church. Thousands more lined the streets of Austin to pay their respects.
The motorcade traveled 200 miles to San Angelo, Officer Padron's final resting place.
While eight months have passed since the shooting, people continue to remember a man who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Throughout the year, multiple events were held in his memory, including a memorial at city hall a golf tournament benefiting the Padron’s family.
"This is kind of one of those opportunities for the community to come out and show their support for an officer that has been killed in the line of duty," Cmdr. Chris McIlvain with the Austin Police Department said.
With respects paid to the slain officer, eyes are now on his suspected killer, 24-year-old Brandon Daniel.
"This case is not going to come down to did he kill the officer or not, right?” Daniel’s attorney Brad Urietta said. “The case is going to come down to whether he deserves to die for it."
The death penalty is being sought against the 24-year-old.
In the days following Padron’s death, Daniel’s mother came forward and said her soft was a talented software engineer who was struggling with depression. She said he was abusing alcohol and prescription anti-anxiety medication around the time of the attack.
Now it's up to a jury to decide his fate for taking the life of a man who was a father, a son, and a protector of the community.