HOUSTON – In honor of Police Week, Channel 2 is remembering officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.
Channel 2 honors Pearland police Officer Endy Ekpanya on Friday.
Ekpanya was killed June 2016 when his patrol car was hit in a head-on collision. Friends of Ekpanya said he was much more than the man in uniform.
He was an incredible father and husband and an amazing friend, and he will be remembered for the joy he brought into everyone's lives.
Pearland police Officer Zachary Passante went through the academy with officer Ekpanya, and he remembers his personality.
He said Ekpanya always found a way to make those around him smile, though didn't take himself too seriously, he took his work very seriously.
"One of the officers made him study traffic code," Passante said. "They had him recite it. They would do flash cards so he could make sure he could get that stuff right."
Ekpanya moved to the U.S. from Nigeria with his family in 1996.
He later became a U.S. citizen and went on to earn two bachelor's degrees, a master's degree and an MBA before going to the police academy.
Ekpanya's life was cut short last June when his patrol car was hit head-on, on FM 518. He left behind a fiancee and young children.
"Obviously his family was first. There wasn't a moment you wouldn't hear him talk about Julian or Luck," Passante said.
Passante said Ekpanya was always willing to do anything for anyone. "He would go out of his way for his family and the community," he said. "He would consider the community and the police department his family as well, and he would go out of his way to help anyone."
A fallen police memorial garden is planned for a section of the police headquarters. It will have three lighted walls with a section to honor three fallen officers.
The police officers' association is now accepting donations.