MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas - A Patton Village police officer and an 11-year-old child were killed during a police chase late Sunday.
Sgt. Stacey Baumgartner had enjoyed a Father's Day lunch with his wife and 5-year-old daughter before he reported for duty at the Patton Village Police Department. It would be his last time.
Word of the officer's death sent shockwaves through the small community.
"He just enjoyed every single person and relationship in his life," said Mayor Leah Tarrant.
Earlier Monday, members of law enforcement from all over the Houston area were stopping by to pay their respects. The chief of Cleveland ISD Police left flowers and a note for each of the victims, and he got choked up while speaking about the lives lost due to someone else's recklessness.
"Stacey's heart was just as big as this state," said Chief Rex Evans. "I just wanted to do something to show he touched a lot of people."
Evans described Baumgartner as a "really good guy, great dad, a good friend."
Baumgartner was dispatched to a Valero at the corner of Highway 242 and Highway 59 where a man was reportedly exposing himself to customers while urinating on the sidewalk.
The suspect, identified as 29-year-old Garrett Nee of Kingwood, allegedly took off and lead the officer on a high-speed chase in his Scion tC.
During the chase, Baumgartner's car was t-boned by an SUV at the intersection of Highway 242 at FM 1485. Baumgartner was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in The Woodlands where he was pronounced dead.
Aidan Hilario Jr., 11, was ejected from the SUV and also died. Four more children and two adults in the SUV were critically injured. They've been identified as: Adan Hilario Sr., 46; Erica Santos, 39; Andrea Hilario, 9; Brenda Hilario, 15; Yudiel Santos, 17; and Joel Santos, 18.
Nee turned around after the crash and was taken into custody.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office says Nee faces multiple charges, including murder, intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault.
KHOU 11 News spoke with the suspect's neighbors on Monday. They described him as a Marine who is part of a "very nice" and "real wholesome" family."
"They go to the park, they go for a walk every night - plays with his kids, never seen anything out of the ordinary," said neighbor Jason Sands. "This is super mind blowing."
Nee remains jailed on bond.