Church offers prayers after officer takes his life in parking lot

An aerial view of Redeemer Church in Manvel, Texas, where Officer Kerry Heiserman of the Pasadena Police Department took his life in the parking lot.
An aerial view of Redeemer Church in Manvel, Texas, where Officer Kerry Heiserman of the Pasadena Police Department took his life in the parking lot. | Screenshot: Google Earth

Members of Redeemer Church in Manvel, Texas, will offer up special prayers Thursday for the family of Pasadena Police Department Officer Kerry Heiserman, who took his life in the church parking lot Monday shortly after learning that he was under investigation for invasive visual recording.

"Today, there's going to be a little bit of special emphasis on the community, and family, and they're just [going to do] a prayer walk around the church. We're going to include that in today's prayer meeting," Mary Lee Stagner, director of business and communication at Redeemer Church, told The Christian Post Thursday.

Officers with the Manvel Police Department were dispatched to the 1800 block of Morris Avenue to do a welfare check, according to a statement released by the Manvel Police Department on Facebook Monday.

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When they arrived on the scene, officers found Heiserman, 46, dead from a single gunshot wound.

Chad Rogers, a public information officer with Pearland police, told ABC 13 that Heiserman, a 21-year veteran of the force, learned earlier that morning that he was under investigation.

"So [Monday] morning, that was assigned to an investigator, and the investigator was attempting to make contact with [Heiserman] about the offense taking place here in the city of Pearland," Rogers said.

It was later reported by someone that Heiserman was suicidal, and officers were asked to do a welfare check. A Manvel police officer tracked the late officer's car to the church and approached him. Heiserman reportedly emerged from the vehicle and shot himself.

Under Texas law, invasive visual recording, which is a state felony, occurs when someone photographs or videotapes someone's intimate area without consent. The law applies to video recording in a bathroom or changing room or receiving sexually explicit videos or pictures and forwarding them to another person.

Pearland police told ABC 13 that Heiserman knew the person who filed the complaint against him, but no further details of the complaint were released.

"We are deeply saddened to report the loss of Officer Kerry Heiserman, who was found deceased yesterday. He was off duty at the time, and this tragic incident is being investigated by the Manvel Police Department," the Pasadena Police Department said in a statement to ABC 13.

"Any questions regarding the investigation may be directed to the Manvel Police Department. We offer our deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers to Kerry's family, friends, and colleagues. This sudden loss has devastated our entire department. We ask that you respect the privacy of his family and friends as we all navigate the difficult road ahead."

Texas Municipal Police Association field representative Leighton Guarnere posted on social media that Heiserman is "Gone way too soon."

"If you have things going south, please reach out. I have my phone with me almost 24/7," he wrote.

Guarnere declined to make further comments to CP.

When asked if the late officer had any previous connection to the church, Stagner told CP he didn't.

"He's never attended here; they're not part of the community, or the church or the [preschool] that's here," she said. "We just happened to be the parking lot that he turned into."

"We were not aware of that situation until the officers informed us what had happened," she said of Heiserman's suicide.

As soon as they realized what happened in their parking lot, Stagner said the church staff jumped into action.

"Within a couple minutes, we informed parents that we were going to close the school early. We had to dismiss. The students were our top priority as soon as we knew what had gone down. We worked on safely getting them [students] reunited with their parents," she said.

Reflecting further on the suicide, Stagner said she sees it as a symptom of the brokenness that exists in the world today.

"I think it's just evidence of the broken world that we live in, and the brokenness that exists in this world. We're so fortunate to have God's grace and God's mercy that this is not the final say, right? There's victory in Jesus," she insisted.

"It's hard. It's tragic. It's sad. We feel for his family, for his friends, for his community," Stagner added. "Our prayer team is praying over the family, praying over the space, this ground, this church, and our community."

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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