LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A San Bernardino police officer was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, and his former High School honored him on Friday with a touching tribute.
Hanes was a 12-year veteran of the San Bernardino Police Department.
23 years ago, Hanes wore #54 when he played for the San Bernardino High School football team.
On Friday, the entire team wore helmet decals with the number 54 on it to honor the fallen police officer.
“We will have decals that his number, number 54, the number he wore when he played here,” San Bernardino High School student Alexander Mattison said.
“It’s crazy. You have to cherish life because you never know,” fellow student Jacob Garcia added.
Football teaches youth all about respect, which is something these players say they have a lot of for police officers.
“They go out on the streets to protect us, so that like defintely makes me respect them,” student Oscar Hernandez said.
The team also plans on having a moment of silence to honor Hanes before Friday’s game.
After the national anthem at the homecoming game, former NFL player Eddie Catoe, who played for the Rams and graduated San Bernardino High School, came back to the field for the first time to pay tribute to Hanes.
“To be blindsided like that, it’s just unthinkable and it’s something you can’t be prepared for, and it’s just so unfortunate and my heart goes out to his family,” Catoe said.
According to the police department, Hanes’ family did not attend the game.
Officer Hanes leaves behind a wife and three children under the age of 12.