As she sifts through letters from people across the nation, Kimberly Hornsby realizes her husband didn’t die in vain.
“He touched a lot of lives. I’ll never touch that many lives when I die, so ... it’s comforting,” she said of her husband, Robert “Bobby” Hornsby. “When you die, you want to leave a legacy or you want to make a difference and he did that. I think that means a lot, that he was able to change lives and bring (people) together.”
Robert Hornsby, 32, a SWAT officer for the Killeen Police Department, died July 14 from gunshot wounds during a standoff in Killeen. His widow accepted letters thanking Hornsby for his service and offering condolences Tuesday in the community room of Killeen Police Department headquarters.
During the ceremony, U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, gave Hornsby a flag from Congress, honoring her husband for his service.
“It’s a testament to the kind of person that he was and how brave he was. I am appreciative that his death is not in vain and that it served a greater purpose,” Hornsby said. “He was always a good person, a caring person.”
Carter also presented SWAT officer Juan E. Obregon Jr., who was shot in the leg during the standoff, with a flag and congressional orders thanking him for his service.
As local SWAT officers strengthened their bond and the community rallied support for Hornsby’s and Obregon’s families, Dennis Baldwin, chief of police for the Killeen Police Department, said he was amazed at the love and support they received from across the U.S.
Baldwin presented Hornsby with a posthumous medal of honor from the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Florida.
“This award is public recognition of the (way) in which we will forever honor him by attaching him to the police hall of fame so his sacrifice ... will always be remembered,” Baldwin said.
As Kimberly Hornsby fought back tears, Baldwin said he recognized the array of emotions in the room, which was filled with fellow officers and his loved ones.
“You are loved by all and supported by all,” Baldwin said. “There are days ahead that you may have to lean on us and there’s probably days ahead we’ll have to lean on you because of the strength and courage you’ve shown us. You’re a great example for all of us to look to in difficult times.”
Between working at a local elementary school and taking care of two children, Kimberly Hornsby said she’s starting to get back into a routine.
But her life will never be the same after a man armed with an AK-47 assault rifle shot and killed her husband.
“It’s been good to get back into a routine,” she said. “It’s been difficult, too, because things that we used to tackle together, it’s not like that (anymore).”