Updated: Sunday, 07 Dec 2008, 6:52 PM CST
Published : Saturday, 06 Dec 2008, 8:07 PM CST
DRIPPING SPRINGS, TEXAS (KXAN) - Officers across Central Texas are mourning the loss of Hays County Sheriff Allen Bridges.
Bridges spent 36 years in law enforcement.Employees with the Hays County Sheriff's Office are trying to go along with business as usual, but the sudden and unexpected death of Sheriff Bridges has many here is disbelief. Bridges died at home Friday night after a Brown Santa event.
"Just utter shock at the Sheriff's office," said Lt. Leroy Opiela of Hays County Sheriff's Office. "He was at work yesterday, worked a full day. He's worked a full day everyday this week."
Funeral services for Bridges will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec.10,. Thomason Funeral Home in San Marcos is in charge of arrangements. A time for visitation is not yet set.
The service will either be held at the San Marcos Activity Center or the San Marcos Conference Center. The location will be determined on Monday. Internment will be at Phillips Cemetery, located at the intersection of FM 150 and RR 12 just south of Dripping Springs.
Bridges was just 62 years old and had just been re-elected. The sheriff and his wife had attended a Brown Santa fund-raising event. When they returned to their Dripping Springs home, Bridges took a shower. Minutes later His wife heard a loud noise and found him lying unconscious and not breathing. Bridges' adult daughter and the couple's neighbor began CPR until EMS arrived and continued the efforts. Bridges was taken to St. David's South Austin Hospital where he was pronounced dead early Saturday morning.
"Life will go on, but it's going to go on with a big hole," said Opiela.
Bridges had been involved in many community groups and charities. Before spending 11 years with the Hays County Sheriff's Office, Bridges retired from the Austin Police Department as a Senior Patrol Officer.
APD Chief Art Acevedo released this statement: "Anytime you lose someone in life the impact is felt by all. I have contacted the Sheriff Deputy Sherman Broadbeck of Hays County to offer APD's condolences and support."
While Sherman Broadbeck is taking over Bridges' responsibilities, there is no guarantee Broadbeck will be the next Sheriff.
"That is up to the commissioners' court right now we have a command staff in place," said Opiela. "We have a chief deputy that will take over that role right now as I understand there will have to be an appointment from the commissioners."
Sheriff Bridges leaves behind a wife of 36 years, five children,
11 grandchildren and countless friends. A funeral date and time
have not been set, but the location will be the Dripping Spring