Trooper Tovar speaks to KBTX about the ongoing support he’s received from the community
“There’s a lot of great people out here in Madison County and the surrounding areas. The whole state of Texas. It’s great.”
MADISONVILLE, Texas (KBTX) -Hundreds of supporters attended a benefit Saturday in Madisonville for Juan Rojas Tovar, a DPS trooper injured in the line of duty by a mass shooting suspect earlier this year.
Saturday’s benefit was held at the Madisonville Sidewalk Cattleman’s Association Pavillion and included a steak dinner from Mallet Brothers BBQ & Grill. Jason Cassidy and Rick Trevino provided live music, and both live and silent auctions were held. Since the shooting in April, Madisonville and surrounding areas have rallied behind Tovar and his family.
Two months after the shooting, Trooper Tovar says he is still amazed at the support and love for him and his family.
“There’s a lot of great people out here in Madison County and the surrounding areas. The whole state of Texas. It’s great,” said Tovar in an interview with KBTX’s Donnie Tuggle. “I love the fact that they’re supportive, they appreciate law enforcement, and they take care of us in this community.”
Tovar says the last few months have been a challenge, but he’s blessed to have the community’s support. Tovar received a hero’s homecoming in April after being released from a Central Texas hospital. He says that support took him by surprise.
“I didn’t know that everybody was going to be out there at the airport the way they were”, said Tovar. “It was pretty cool seeing everybody there.”
Tovar says what made the trip home to the Madisonville airport special was seeing his son.
“When I came home, I really just wanted to see my son. I hadn’t seen him since that day,” said Tovar. “Seeing everybody there that day, I saw my son, he had a sign for me, and you know, I was glad to see him again. I was happy to see him.”
Thomas Collard helped organize the benefit on Saturday. He’s known Tovar for the last four years and considers him a brother and a friend. Collard says Tovar has a special bond with Madison County residents.
“He’s just a great guy, said, Collard. “There’s no other way to put it.”
Collard says the community wanted to be there for Tovar, as he has been there for them. He everyone was heartbroken when they learned it was Tovar who was shot while attempting to apprehend the man who was accused of opening fire on multiple people at Kent Moore Cabinets in Bryan. Trooper was injured near the suspect’s home in Grimes County.
“When we found out that Juan had gotten shot, it broke our hearts. It broke the community’s hearts. He’s really close to a lot of people in this community, and it’s really been hard for us,” said Collard. “Juan and this community are great. I mean, he goes to all the baseball games. He helps out in any way he possibly can, and this community loves him for it. There’s a lot of people that came forward to help us with this and to help him in his time of need. He deserves it.”
Support for Tovar goes beyond the Brazos Valley. Musicians, athletes, and businesses from across the county donated services and memorabilia for the silent and live auctions. Hall of Fame baseball player Richard “Goose” Gossage was one of many who attended the benefit and signed autographs and memorabilia for supporters. He says it was an honor to take part in the event.
“I thought it was very important for me to support the law enforcement for what they are going through today and raise some money for Trooper Tovar,” said Gossage. “Anytime we can lend our name to a cause like this where I say law enforcement has taken such a beating, I’m proud to be here on behalf of America.”
Tovar says the last few months have been a challenge, but he’s blessed to have the support of the community, family, friends.
“I’m taking it a day at a time as it comes. I don’t really know what’s going to happen. My son’s doing good. My wife, she’s taking it a day at a time as well. So just gotta keep on moving forward,” said Tovar.
Tovar says the support from his colleagues is nothing short of amazing.
“They’re great guys to work with,” said Tovar. “Four years ago, I didn’t know a single one of them, and now I can trust them with my life, obviously.”
The man accused of shooting Tovar was indicted on multiple charges last week by a Brazos County grand jury for the shootings at Kent Moore Cabinets. He’s been charged but not yet indicted in Grimes County for the shooting of Tovar.
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