The community continues to rally around hit-and-run victim Walter “Buddy” Hopkins’ family while police drag their feet. The pious Haslet community mourned Hopkins yesterday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints of which Hopkins was a proud member. As Hopkins’ death is mourned, the neighborhood continues its efforts to raise money for the family. Hopkins left behind a wife and four children, one of whom has special needs. They began with a candle lit vigil followed by a large garage stale that went through yesterday. This Saturday the work will continue at a fundraiser at the Sendera Ranch Amenity Center Pool near Blue Jean Drive from 8 am to 3 pm.
The Hopkins family is committed to focusing on their family and the community – not on the criminal event. Hopkins’ brother-in-law Richard Massey who often speaks to the media on behalf of the family told WFAA, “What energies we have, not one little bit will be spent on how it happened, or why it happened …We have spent all of our energies as a family and a community on Heather and her son and three little girls.”
The police, whose energies absolutely should be spent tracking down the culprit, have still not made an arrest. The lead suspect was identified to the police by a body shop, Five Star Ford Collision Center. The suspect took his 2007 Ford Ranger pickup truck to the body shop a few hours after Hopkins was killed. He told the body shop he had hit a dog. He insisted he needed a quick fix and would pay with cash, not insurance. The shop employees were tipped off by his squirrely demeanor and by the disturbingly human-shaped dent in the truck.
Once the police were alerted, they responded and secured a warrant to search the truck. The Tarrant County Sherriff’s detectives processed the truck over several days, and yet, no arrest. The owner of the truck is reported to have told police he would cooperate, and simultaneously discuss the situation only with his lawyer. It’s a good thing that the driver has a lawyer because in the coming months he is definitely going to need one. Although no one wants to rush the cops on the case to a hasty conclusion, it’s difficult to watch even from a distance the Hopkins family and Haslet community mourn such a wonderful person while the perpetrator is at large.