'You were the best daddy': Officer Gabriel Torres' devastated wife Jasmin recalls their last goodbye
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: The devastated widow of slain Officer Gabriel Torres remembered him as a believer, a family man, a husband and a father as she recounted their final moments together.
Hundreds reportedly gathered at the emotional funeral and procession in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon, October 22, to honor the life of Torres, who was killed during the mass shooting in the Hedingham neighborhood. His flag-draped casket was placed on a caisson and pulled through the Cross Assembly Church parking lot before entering the church, where his doting wife Jasmin, shared their love story, remembered the sweet and challenging moments she had with him, and how she bade him farewell for the last time.
"Thursday, October 13, 2022, is by far the hardest day of my life," Jasmin began, recalling the day Gabriel and four others were killed in the Hedingham neighborhood. The 29-year-old officer was in his car and about to drive to work when he was ambushed. His wife recounted their final moments during her eulogy at his funeral, saying she heard the gunshots and rushed home -- only to find her husband fatally injured. "I tried to save you. I wish I could have saved you. I gave my all to try and save you," she bemoaned. "I'm sorry if I scared you," she said, according to WRAL News.
Jasmin said she heard the sound of "cracks" that didn't make sense at first until she realized they were gunshots. "I didn't know I could scream that loud," she said. "Finding you wounded, with your life slipping away, is a pain too hard to deal with." Gabriel was still alive when she found him. She said she didn't know she had the inner strength to do what she did to save the life of someone she loved. "I’m glad you were still with me long enough so that I could kiss your skin while it was still warm," she said through tears. "While I could still feel the pulse of your heart." Mourners quietly listened as she said, "I hope you heard me when I told you I loved you."
Hundreds are gathered in #Raleigh this morning as loved ones & fellow law enforcement say goodbye to Officer Gabriel Torres. He was killed over one week ago by a 15-year-old gunman, who also killed 4 others. @WNCN pic.twitter.com/zNGtympR9y— Deana Harley (@Deanaharleynews) October 22, 2022
Jasmin also remembered the good times they had together, telling their love story while standing in front of her husband's flag-draped casket. She said he joined the Marine Corps in 2016 because he wanted something to be proud of. "We loved each other with towns and cities between us," she said. "It was a challenge, but we got through it."
Statement from Jasmin Torres, wife of fallen officer, Gabriel Torres: "Today, we say goodbye to my husband, Gabe. On behalf of my family, there aren’t enough “Thank You’s” in this world that I can say or write. pic.twitter.com/c1RrI0hIjn— ABC11 EyewitnessNews (@ABC11_WTVD) October 22, 2022
The lovers tied the knot in 2018, and Jasmin truly believed they could finally be together. She packed her belongings and moved to Jacksonville, North Carolina. However, Gabriel would soon leave for more training. He was subsequently deployed and was away even longer, but the couple would love each other across states. They eventually welcomed a baby girl in 2020, during a pandemic in a separate state away from their family and loved ones. However, they managed to pull through. "Oh, Gabe," she said. "I cannot thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to be a mommy. You were the best daddy."
Jasmin said they moved to Raleigh in March 2021, when Gabriel dedicated his heart and soul to becoming a police officer. She said he was so devoted to his work that she begged him to take some time off, but she couldn't be prouder. However, despite a lifetime of loving each other across a distance, she said, "This new distance, this one I will struggle with for the rest of my life."
Jasmin was led away by Raleigh officers who hugged her as she cried. She thanked everyone who honored her husband and prayed for her family. Finally, she told her husband not to worry about her and their daughter, but to be at peace. "Our family down here is much larger than I'd ever have guessed. You'd be so amazed," she gushed. "I love you. I really love you. We'll get through this."
Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin reacts after paying her respects to the family of fallen RPD officer Gabriel Torres. Torres died in the mass shooting last week and leaves behind a two-year-old daughter. @ABC11_WTVD pic.twitter.com/KbJSQ8PjPO— Samantha Kummerer (@SKummerer) October 22, 2022
Hundreds of law enforcement personnel attended the service, highlighting the overwhelming respect and support there was for the fallen officer and his family, WRAL reported.