(June 26, 2014) Mourners gathered Thursday morning at the Temple Bible Church for the funeral service for slain Little River-Academy Police Chief Lee Dixon, 53, who was remembered as a loving, caring and honorable man.
Dixon was shot to death a week ago Thursday, the fourth area law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in less than a year.
“We lost a great man,” Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange told mourners Thursday morning.
“Each one of us who carries a badge is more determined this morning after this incident to carry out our jobs, to keep our communities safe, to do what we were sworn to do, because Lee would not have it any other way,” he said.
Milam County Sheriff David Greene, for whom Dixon worked as a deputy before leaving to become chief in Little River-Academy, called him “a great friend.”
Greene said Dixon’s badge number will be retired.
After the funeral, a 20-mile procession to the Bell County Expo Center passed through Little River-Academy to allow residents to pay their respects to the veteran officer.
At the Expo Center, the Austin Police Pipe and Drum Corps and the Bell County Sheriff’s Posse escorted the procession as it proceeded along the driveway.
Prayers were offered and the flag covering Dixon’s casket was presented to his family.
Dixon was honored with a 21-gun salute, a bugler played Taps,and the traditional end-of-watch call was made.
Dixon will be cremated.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made in Dixon’s name to the Bell County Sheriff’s Department Foundation.
Dixon, who started on the job just last month, was shot and killed early last Thursday evening after responding to a report of a man with a gun at a house in the area of Main and Allison Streets.
The report came in at around 5:10 p.m. Thursday.
Dixon responded alone, but a short time later requested assistance.
Soon after that, authorities began to receive 911 calls about the shooting, Bell County Sheriff’s Lt. Donnie Adams said.
Dixon was shot twice with a shotgun as he stood on the porch of the home.
David Risner, 57, was charged Friday with capital murder and remains in the Bell County Jail without bond.
Dixon was a native of Abilene and a graduate of Olney High School and the Temple College Police Academy.
He served as a police officer in the town of about 2,000 residents south of Temple a decade ago and was hired as chief just last month after serving as a Milam County sheriff's deputy.
An online memorial fund has been established for Dixon’s family.
He was the fourth officer to die in the line of duty in Bell County in less than a year.
On July 14, 2013, Pfc. Dustin Billy Cole, 24, of Talihina, Okla., opened fire with an AK47 on two Killeen police SWAT Team officers.
Officer Robert "Bobby" Layden Hornsby, 32, of Killeen died.
Officer Juan E. Obregon, Jr., 33, was wounded.
On Dec. 11, 2013, Bell County Deputy Sheriff Adam Davis, 36, who was in a coma and in critical condition after suffering head injuries in a single-vehicle crash on Dec. 1, 2013 while responding to a call died just after 10 a.m. at Scott & White Hospital.
Adams was near the end of his shift when he responded at around 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 1 to a report of a man with a gun near Pendleton.
He lost control of his patrol car on Farm-to-Market- Road 1237 just southwest of the community.
On May 9, Killeen police Detective Charles "Chuck" Dinwiddie, an 18-year veteran and on the SWAT Team for 15 years, was shot while serving a search warrant at 1104 Circle M Dr.
He died on May 11 at Scott & White Hospital in Temple.