The teenaged daughter of a slain police officer has delivered a powerful message at her father’s funeral, saying she does not hate her father’s murder and hopes to someday tell him about Jesus.
Officer Richard Houston, a 21-year veteran of the Mesquite Police Department, was killed in the line of duty last week while responding to a disturbance call outside a local supermarket.
The 46-year-old was fatally shot on December 3 after he was called to an argument between a husband and wife near a grocery store off South Beltline Road.
Houston left behind a wife and three children, including his 18-year-old daughter Shelby, who left hundreds of mourners stunned by the grace she displayed at her father’s funeral last Thursday at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall.
Shelby said she recalled conversations she’d had with her dad about friends he’d lost in the line of duty. While she wanted justice to be served, she said her heart also ached for those who don’t know Jesus.
“I was always told that I would feel differently if it happened to me,” she said, “but as it’s happened to my own father I think I still feel the same.
“There has been anger, sadness, grief, and confusion, and part of me wishes I could despise the man who did this to my father. But I can’t get any part of my heart to hate him.”
Shelby went on to say: “All that I can find is myself hoping and praying for this man to truly know Jesus. I thought this might change if the man continued to live, but when I heard the news that he was in stable condition part of me was relieved.
“My prayer is that someday, down the road, I’d get to spend some time with the man who shot my father. Not to scream at him, not to yell at him, not to scold him, simply to tell him about Jesus.”
Mesquite Assistant Police Chief Doug Yates said Houston kept a Bible in his squad car.
“Richard didn’t just go to church,” Yates said. “Richard walked with God each day.”
Perhaps the best evidence of that is the children he left behind.