‘Pray for Chad’: Waco Texas Rocks member paints stones in honor of Trooper Walker
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Lisa Moreno and fellow members of Waco Texas Rocks are painting rocks with the message “Pray for Chad” in honor of Texas State Trooper Chad Walker, who is fighting for his life after he was shot while trying to help a stranded motorist in rural Central Texas.
Moreno said she learned about the shooting Saturday morning and decided to paint the rocks with the message for Trooper Walker as a way to show her support.
“I have a dear friend who is a trooper. When I read about the shooting, I was stunned. (Trooper Walker) was just doing a regular part of his job. It’s heart-wrenching,” she said.
Authorities say DeArthur Pinson Jr., 36, shot Walker along highway 84 near Mexia, Texas on Friday night. Pinson’s vehicle reportedly broke down and Trooper Walker pulled up to offer help. At that point, Pinson Jr. allegedly exited his vehicle and fired several rounds at the trooper’s patrol unit, striking the officer in the head and abdomen.
Saturday evening, as Trooper Walker continued to fight for his life, the man accused of shooting him took his own life, authorities said.
Moreno said her group will hide the painted rocks in the area around the local hospital where the trooper is receiving medical treatment. She said she hopes law enforcement officers and Trooper Walker’s loved ones find the rocks and find comfort knowing the Waco community is praying for them.
“I shared the news with the group to provide an opportunity for folks to express support, give them something positive to do - prayer is the main thing,” Moreno said.
The Waco Texas Rocks Facebook group has nearly 12,000 members. Members paint rocks with the hashtag #WacoTexasRocks and messages meant to inspire kindness, hope, love and faith.
The group hides the rocks in “hot spots” in the Waco-Woodway area and those who hunt for the rocks - and eventually find them - often post photos of the rocks along with the group’s hashtag on social media.
“Painting rocks always makes me feel good,” Moreno said, “you can get lost in the painting just by focusing on what you’re doing and everything else just slips away.”
If Trooper Walker eventually comes across one of the rocks, Moreno hopes he will realize the community was pulling for him during his darkest hours.
“I hope he will know that people he doesn’t even know are praying and believing for his recovery,” Moreno said, “I hope it will remind him that he is in God’s hands and we are prayerfully waiting for his full and complete recovery.”
She also hopes the rocks will remind him that although he encountered a person who harmed him, there are many more who love and support him.
“There are no strangers in this world, just friends he doesn’t know yet,” Moreno said, “Most of us love our neighbors and respect those trying to protect us.”
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