Vigil held for Bellaire officer killed one year ago

With heavy hearts, and candles in hand, over 100 people gathered at Evelyn's park in Bellaire to remember a fallen officer.

"Marco was a heartbeat in our department and to see the outpouring of people showing up was amazing. It meant a lot to all of us," Sgt. Anthony Hefferin with the Bellaire Police Department said.

Several officers from local law enforcement, along with family and friends came together for a vigil in memory of Officer Marco Antonio Zarate who was killed in the line of duty.

This time last year, Zarate had pulled over two shoplifting suspects in Meyerland Plaza, but they took off and led him on a chase.

Zarate died after crashing into a parked trailer.

"When an officer dies in the line of duty protecting the people that they serve, it's a very solemn event," Rico Garcia, the national president of Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, said.

"This is been a year of firsts for the family. First Christmas and birthday without their father, so this has been a year of healing and understanding," Chief Byron Holloway, with the Bellaire Police Department, said.

The 52-year-old former Marine and seven-year veteran of the force, left behind a wife and three daughters.

Although Zarate is gone, he's certainly not forgotten.

Wednesday night, a community reflected on the great memories.

"We're a family so when something like this happens we just band together and try to heal together," Hefferin said.

"We join to make a difference. And that's what he died for. He wanted to make a difference, and he'll always make a difference with us because well never forget him," Garcia said.

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