'Died doing what he loved': Dozens rally in honor of APD officer killed in hostage situation

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Support continued to pour in for Austin Police Officer Jorge Pastore, who died in the line of duty during a hostage situation Saturday.

Pastore was shot during a SWAT operation attempting to free hostages in a south Austin home. He died from his injuries at Dell Seton Medical Center. Another officer was also shot, but in stable condition, according to APD.

‘Died doing what he loved’

Sunday evening, dozens gathered outside Austin City Hall to honor the fallen officer.

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Officer Jorge Pastore was killed while trying to rescue two people being held hostage in Austin, Texas, police said. (KXAN Photos/Sarah Al-Shaikh)

“Jorge and his family have given more than we can pay,” said community advocate Cleo Petricek.

President of the Austin Police Association Michael Bullock shed some light into the type of person Pastore was.

“Pastore had incredible love for his police family and a passion for this profession,” Bullock said. “He represents the best of not just the Austin Police Department, but the law enforcement profession.”

Bullock said Pastore regularly worked overtime to help his police family.

“He was part of a team that constantly stands guard against any potential active shooter,” Pastore said. “He trained hard to become part of our SWAT team. He helped others, supported his friends and did it all while smiling.”

Pastore was described as someone who gave his all to the department and fought to protect the city.

“He died running into the unknown to save others,” Bullock said.

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Among those in the crowd were Greg and Pat Herring. Their son is a police officer in Arlington.

“From a very young age, he would on Halloween dress up as a police officer and has always wanted to be a police officer,” Greg said. “He studied criminal justice in college, so he could be a great police officer. He’s been out on the streets for a little over a year.”

They said their hearts go out to Pastore’s family and the family of the injured officer.

“I make sure the phone is beside my bed because I wonder if I’m gonna get a call in the middle of the night, because they’re trained to run to danger,” Greg said. “As parents, that’s really difficult. So we empathize with the family of the two officers.”

Over in south Austin, the yellow crime scene tape is still up where officers responded Saturday.

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A neighbor brought flowers to place by the crime scene to honor Officer Pastore’s life. (KXAN Photos/Sarah Al-Shaikh)

But now, a bouquet of yellow flowers stand next to it in honor of Pastore.

“To our brother, rest easy. You will be greatly missed,” Bullock said. “We’ve got it from here.”

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