AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police Officer Jorge “George” Pastore, who died in the line of duty Nov. 11, was honored in Austin Friday.
Law enforcement began setting up at 7 a.m., and Pastore’s final patrol began at 8 a.m. Hundreds of Austinites lined the route to show support for the family and honor the fallen officer.
The bustling streets of Austin took the morning off as dozens of first responder vehicles traveled from north Austin to the Circuit of The Americas Amphitheatre, where the funeral was held. There, Austin officials, colleagues and friends of Pastore spoke through tears to a crowd of thousands.
“If you needed help – if you needed something – it didn’t matter if you were on the other side of the city, he would key up and be the first one there,” said Austin Police Officer Felix Perez, who was a friend of Pastore’s. “I’m going to miss seeing you every day. I’m going to miss calling you and asking you for help with something because I knew you could fix anything,” Perez said through tears.
“This man was a shield against harm wrongdoing, and danger. He was a police officer,” Austin Mayor Kirk Watson said.
Many said Pastore was a kind, vibrant person who loved to make people laugh. Speakers said he was passionate about his job and that it was his dream to be on the SWAT team. Most told his wife, who was in the crowd, that he loved her and his two step sons dearly.
Before Pastore was laid to rest, he was honored with one final award.
“George Pastore, number 9097, is being awarded the Medal of Valor for displaying exceptional bravery and courageous action, risking life for serious bodily injury while in the performance of duty. In addition, a Purple Heart for his death resulting from a suspects actions in the line of duty under honorable circumstances with valor,” said Interim Austin Police Chief Robin Henderson.
“Rest easy brother. We’ll take it from here,” Henderson said.
On Nov. 11, Pastore and another officer were shot while responding to a SWAT call in south Austin.
Pastore and the second officer were both taken to the hospital, but Pastore’s injuries were fatal. The second officer was later released from the hospital.