OPD honors Corporal Abel Marquez on 16 year anniversary of his death

Recordings of the CBS7 News at 5 newscast.
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 7:23 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - 16 years ago on September 12th, the Odessa Police lost one of their own just days after two others were killed in the line of duty.

Now OPD remembers those officers with wreath laying ceremonies.

At sunrise, officers placed a wreath at the memorial statue on the front lawn of the department.

Chief Michael Gerke says the department will never forget the officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“We do this as long as I’m chief. I think it’s very important that we remember their sacrifices. I think it’s very important that the families understand that we haven’t forgotten their sacrifices and I think it’s very important that the community understands we do have people, we do have first responders in this community that will run towards danger that will make that sacrifice for their safety” said Chief Mike Gerke, Odessa Police

Running into danger is exactly what Marquez did. 16 years ago, Corporal Abel Marquez, Arlie Jones, and Scott Gardner responded to a domestic violence call and were ambushed.

Corporal Jones and Corporal Gardner died on the scene. Corporal Marquez was taken to the hospital fighting for his life.

“You know Abel has a really special place in Odessa Police Department heart because he was here when he had two brothers here at the same time so the Marquez family left a really incredible mark on the department,” said Gerke

Corporal Marquez died four days later.

At the time of the call, Chief Gerke was a detective and said those days were hard on the entire department.

“I remember that day very well. That day we had three officers shot and we lost all three of them. We celebrate Abel today because he hung on and he fought” said Gerke

The wreath for Corporal Marquez will be on display the rest of the day on September 12th.