A man and a woman dressed in all black exited the Dallas Police Department’s Northwest Patrol Division office Thursday afternoon.
They quietly spoke to each other as they approached a squad car parked on the sidewalk.
A couple bouquets and several other flowers laid along the car’s windshield in memory of the department’s officer, 25-year-old Jacob Arellano, who died Wednesday after a wrong-way driver struck his SUV on Spur 408 while he was in uniform driving to work.
The man wiped something off the hood and the woman snapped a photo of the memorial with her phone before they retreated back inside.
Things remained quiet throughout the late morning and early afternoon at the office off Harry Hines Boulevard.
A few onlookers passed by, asking what happened and sometimes stopped to take a photo of their own. A man from a local floral shop delivered two large stands of white flowers, one with a blue ribbon, to inside the office. Camera crews from local TV stations recorded footage and waited for more people to contribute to the memorial.
Arellano had been with DPD since 2019. His sudden death was a shock to the department Wednesday morning when the first watch sergeant was going through roll call and Arellano didn’t answer. Soon after, his colleagues learned about the crash.
Later, Dallas Police Chief Eddie García fought back tears throughout a press conference about Arellano’s death minutes before a police procession escorted Arellano’s body from the Methodist Dallas Medical Center. García said the department, which includes Arellano’s brother, was living a “nightmare.”
Arellano is also survived by his parents, his girlfriend, and their infant son.
He graduated from Socorro High School in El Paso in 2016, according to the Socorro Independent School District, then went on to play football at New Mexico State. The college team tweeted a photo of Arellano from his time there saying he “was an outstanding young man.”
We are deeply saddened by the loss of former Aggie football player Jacob Arellano. Jacob was an outstanding young man, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/nRe2G7VghM
— New Mexico State Football (@NMStateFootball) October 13, 2022
Other police departments and some local government officials expressed their condolences on social media throughout Wednesday and Thursday. The Dallas skyline was lit with blue lights Wednesday night in his honor.
Funeral arrangements for Arellano have not been announced. Dallas Police’s traffic unit is investigating the crash, including whether the other driver was intoxicated, although no charges have been announced.