BAYTOWN, Texas — More than 100 people attended a vigil in Baytown Tuesday night to remember a fallen Harris County deputy.
Mourners marched through the streets and into the parking lot where Harris County Precinct 3 Assistant Chief Deputy Clint Greenwood was shot and killed Monday morning.
The vigil was not only a reminder to some of the brevity of life, but also a reminder of the dangers that face those with jobs dealing with criminals newly every day.
"We may say he's hiding out, Father," one woman shouted in prayer above the crowd. "But you know exactly where he is. We ask you to bring him forth, by the blood of the lamb, and the word of the testimony, dear God."
The parking spot assigned to him has been turned into a makeshift memorial.
People placed flowers and a flag in the same spot where the 30-year law enforcement veteran was struck by a bullet on his way into work Monday morning.
A steady stream of police, deputies and other officers came to pay their respects, including Fort Bend County Sheiff's Deputy Andrew Smith. Smith not only knew Greenwood through work, the assistant chief deputy was also his uncle.
"He was loved by a lot of people," said Smith, who added Greenwood partially influenced his own decision to go into police work. "He was just a good man, a great family man and loved his community."
Smith started a GoFundMe account to raise money for his uncle's wife and 4 children. Precinct 3 Deputies placed decals showing Greenwood's likeness on the backs of their patrol cars. The agency's spokesman said it would serve as a daily reminder of Greenwood's spirit.
"He had a mantra," remembered Pct. 3 Deputy Landon McDonald. "No matter what it was, 'I got your back.'"
Earlier Tuesday morning, patrons noticed flags flying at half-staff in honor of fallen deputy, but saw no sign of heightened security inside or outside the building.
Some drivers were stopped by Baytown Police minutes before 7 a.m., which was about 24 hours after the deputy was gunned down inside his patrol unit as it was parked in an assigned spot outside the government building.
“It’s a beautiful day just blanketing the sadness from yesterday,” said Baytown resident Natasha Lewis. “It’s very sad coming here and seeing the makeshift memorial that the community has already started.”
Lewis lives less than a half-mile from the annex. She watched law enforcement helicopters hover over her neighborhood for the bulk of the day Monday.
“Because this hit home. He was one of ours.”
Lewis placed a pair of painted stones under a tree near the crime scene. It’s the beginning of a memorial from the community to Greenwood and his family.
“Baytown is behind them,” she said. “That we support them and are facing it, right alongside them.”
Jill Harrison raised a flag Greenwood’s parking spot. It’s a black and white version of the American flag. A thin blue line runs through the stars and stripes.
Blue masking tape outlines the spot where Greenwood’s white Precinct 3 SUV was parked.
“Clint parked there every morning,” said Harrison. “Clint was the first one here every morning, usually bringing breakfast.”
So, as part of their parking spot memorial, colleagues left a bag of breakfast foods for Greenwood.
Greenwood fought for justice in the courtroom and on the street. He was a defense attorney, once worked for the Harris County District Attorney’s office, a major with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and this January, began working with Harris County’s Precinct 3 Constable Office.
“It’s a great feeling know the people that we work for, day in and day out, that the people these deputies work for, risk their lives for day in and day out, are 100 percent behind us,” said Harrison. “It’s something that can’t be explained.”