SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – John “Rocky” Riojas, Jr. was only 2 months old when his father, a San Antonio Police officer, was shot and killed during a struggle with a suspect in 2001. He only knows what others have told him about his father.
“I heard a lot of stories about him,” Riojas told KTSA News at a fundraiser this week for the 100 Club of San Antonio. “It means a lot to me, all of the help and support we’ve gotten.”
The LEE High School senior is getting a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin from the 100 Club. Awarding scholarships to the children of fallen officers and firefighters is just one of the many things the organization does to help the families who are left behind. Members and volunteers rush to the family’s side from the time of the officer’s death, and they continue providing support, including paying college tuition for the fallen officer’s or firefighter’s children.
“I just want to thank the 100 Club and the law enforcement community. They really have helped us move forward,” said Riojas.
He says they also show up for special occasions.
“They’ve been there for some of my wrestling tournaments and football games. A lot of the guys (police officers) will show up at my grandma’s house for dinners and just have a good time,” said the LEE High School athlete.
Dillon Perez was still in his mother’s womb when his father, San Antonio Police officer Oscar Domingo Perez, was shot and killed while trying to arrest a suspect in 2000.
“He was killed in March and I was born in October, so I never even got to meet him,” said Perez.
But his father’s fellow officers and his relatives have shared their memories of officer Perez.
“My mom has told me that I’m the son that’s most like my father. The one thing that I’ll always remember that my family has told me about him is that he always put his family first, no matter what,” said Perez.
He’s graduating from Cornerstone Christian School, and with the help of the 100 Club, he’ll enroll at Northwest Vista College in the fall with hopes of transferring in two years to UTSA.
In addition to presenting gifts and scholarships to Riojas and Perez, the 100 Club honored the life and service of K9 Chucky, the Bexar county Sheriff’s Office canine who was killed in the line of duty in January.
Rachelle Rasmussen, the wife of Chucky’s handler, was at the fundraising luncheon with their 3-year-old son.
“We were very, very blessed to have him with us in our family. He was my husband’s best friend, truly. He was loved by all of us,” said Rasmussen.
Her son was clutching a stuffed puppy that looked like Chucky, a gift from the 100 Club. When photos of his father with Chucky appeared on the screen, he repeatedly shouted,” Da Da, Da Da.”