Police support local patrolman touched by tragedy in Waco
Virtually the entire department turned out on Tuesday for the funeral of Michael and Deborah Sheppard in Waco. They were the parents of Rockdale Ofc. Sterling Sheppard.
Waco police said the Sheppards died together from gunshot wounds at their Waco apartment in what was termed an apparent “homicide-suicide.”
A handgun was recovered at the scene.
It was Sterling Sheppard who found his parents about 8 p.m. last Wednesday af ter family members had been unable to contact the couple.
Lt. J. D. Newlin said virtually every member of the department who was able attended the funeral at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Waco’s Lake Shore Funeral Home Chapel.
“We appreciate the sheriff’s department covering for us while most of the Rockdale department was in Waco trying to provide support for Ofc. Sheppard,” Newlin said.
Newlin said Michael Sheppard, 60, had sustained a debilitating series of strokes over the past six years.
“The family is requesting donations to the American Stroke Association, www.strokeassociation.org in lieu of flowers,” Newlin said. “I know they’d like people to understand what strokes can do and how they can affect their victims in so many terrible ways.”
Newlin said, obviously, Ofc. Sheppard will be granted some bereavement time before returning to work.
Michael Sheppard was a successful Waco area home builder for over 30 years, an avid outdoorsman and bow hunter.
Deborah Sheppard, 59, was a licensed cosmetologist and began a career as a stylist before becoming a full-time mother of the couple’s three sons.
The Sheppards were married for 41 years.