LITTLE RIVER-ACADEMY — No one has any answers that bring them peace, Mayor Ronnie White said Friday morning after a night with no rest following the shooting death of Police Chief Lee Dixon.
Coffee at Phillabee’s was keeping him going.
“Everyone is shocked and disappointed. Mostly shocked,” White said.
White said Dixon had been chief of police twice before in the “one cop” town.
“Everyone was happy he was back. He was catching everything up and was doing a heck of a good job,” he said.
Dixon’s wife, Mary, went into the restaurant Friday morning and was greeted with hugs and tears. She said the Bell County Sheriff’s Department is helping handle arrangements for her husband because a large crowd is expected.
The community will get through this tragedy the same way they always do — “by sticking together, getting tough and just getting through it,” White said. “By Lee doing what he did it might have kept this from being a lot worse. We just don’t know.”
Bell County Deputy Chief Chuck Cox said Thursday he was sitting in the back of the council chambers when Academy considered hiring Dixon.
“I remember looking at you, Ronnie, and telling you I thought Lee would be a good fit,” Cox said.
“And he was,” White said.
Little River-Academy Volunteer Fire Chief David Borders lost both a friend and brother, he said Friday.
“Lee was a kindhearted person. He always took time to stop and talk to the kids. He gave my 15-month-old daughter a toy horse because he loved horses and she would walk with her mom to City Hall at lunchtime. Natalee would peek in his office to say hi. He will be truly missed,” Borders said.
In nearby Cameron, Police Chief Randy Dixon also took the loss personally.
“He was my cousin and a very good friend. I taught both him and his wife in the police academy and he was in Milam County the last eight years as a sheriff’s deputy. We spent the last three years together in Milam County and met up often. We were supposed to have lunch today,” Randy Dixon said Friday.
The fire department on Friday escorted the procession bringing Dixon’s body back from the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas through Temple to Scanio-Harper Funeral Home.
Staff said visitation is tentatively scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, with a service at 10 a.m. Thursday, both at Temple Bible Church, 3205 Oakview Drive.
A Lee Dixon Memorial Fund was established Friday on gofundme.com to help with expenses. As of 6:30 p.m. Friday, $2,265 had been raised.
Donations to Dixon’s family may also be made to the Bell County Sheriff’s Department Foundation in Dixon’s name.