LUBBOCK, Texas – Monday marks six years since Texas Tech Police Department (TTPD) officer Floyd East Jr. was shot and killed in the line of duty. The 48-year-old had only been with the department for five months.
Floyd’s wife, Carmen East, was out of the country the day it happened on Oct. 9, 2017.
“I had just spoken to him the night before,” Carmen said. “It was my night and his morning, and he was coming home after his shift. He said he loved me, he was proud of me and he couldn’t wait to see me or the girls, and that just never happened.”
Floyd was at the TTPD station questioning the then Texas Tech University (TTU) student and narcotics suspect Hollis Daniels.
“He [Floyd] told him [Hollis], ‘I need to take off your handcuffs so that I can continue processing you, and I’m just going to ask you to please behave,’” Carmen said.
After nearly half an hour of Floyd processing Daniels, the young man shot the officer point blank in the head. He’s since been sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder.
“Hollis asked him if he had children, and my husband said ‘Yes,’” Carmen said. “Those were the last words that my husband ever said. That was a tough one seeing a very kind person go, but God calls his angels for some reason.”
Ivey trained Floyd when he first started at the TTPD. She described Floyd as down to earth.
“You couldn’t ask for a better police officer to come in and join this department,” said TTPD Captain Amy Ivey. “Every year, officers remember what a great friend, officer and coworker he was, and talk about him to keep his memory alive.”
Ivey said TTPD honors Floyd’s service in many ways.
“Not only do we have his picture hanging up to remember him, but we have the rock out front that has his name on it that we drive by every single day,” Ivey said. “It’s our memory to know that he paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Floyd leaves behind his wife Carmen and two daughters.
“We’re doing fine,” Carmen said. “We have a lot of support from the community and that’s what keeps us rolling.”
Carmen started Texas 635 in Floyd’s memory with a mission to improve mental wellness in law enforcement. All money raised by the nonprofit goes toward helping peace officers get the resources they need. If you’d like to donate or learn more, head over to the Texas 635 website.