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Madisonville vigil honors DPS Trooper Tovar, first responders

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 12:12 AM CDT
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MADISONVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - Hundreds of residents and first responders alike, from Madison County and surrounding counties, came out to Sunday evening’s vigil in support of DPS Trooper Juan Tovar and other members of law enforcement who came to our community’s defense in light of Thursday’s shooting in Bryan.

Tovar was injured trying to apprehend the suspect and is still in the hospital. The last update from DPS said he was in serious but stable condition at St. Joseph Hospital.

Trooper Tovar is based out of Madison County.

“He is really involved in the community. Everyone knows him,” family friend Karina Munoz, who was one of contributing organizers of Sunday’s vigil, said. “He’s just a good guy, a good family friend, so it was just right. It’s what we felt in our hearts.”

Madison County Sheriff Bobby Adams and Madisonville Police Chief Herbert Gilbert said a few words on behalf of Tovar and how much his sacrifice means to the community.

The group also joined in prayer and raised candle and cell phone lights in his honor.

“He did something that most people would run away from,” Sheriff Adams said. “That’s just his job, and he did it.”

Janice Svec is a dispatcher for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. She knows Tovar well and says he’s one of the most thorough and by-the-book officers she’s worked with during her long career in law enforcement.

“I came into work and it was like a blow to the heart is what it was,” Svec said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

The vigil lasted about half an hour. It was a reminder for everyone just how important their heroes in law enforcement are to them.

“We have so many bad things happening in the world today, and it’s great whenever you see that a community comes together and helps support their law enforcement,” Svec said.

“We’re in a community here in Texas where people come together and support their law enforcement community,” Adams said. “It makes me feel great to see that.”

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