HASLET - Dozens lit candles and prayed Friday afternoon for a Haslet father killed while jogging this week.
Neighbors of Walter Hopkins, 37, organized the vigil to offer prayers and donations for his family.
“We have a very, very strong and tight-knit community,” said Jennifer Cobb, a friend of Hopkins, who helped organize the gathering. “When one of ours falls, we all fall.”
Tarrant County deputies executed a search warrant Friday to examine a pickup truck believed to be involved in the hit-and-run death.
Hopkins was struck from behind about 5:45 a.m. Thursday in the 13800 block of Willow Springs Road near Haslet in northern Tarrant County. Investigators later found a damaged 2007 blue Ford Ranger in a north Fort Worth auto repair shop.
“We’re as sure as anyone can be we have the car that killed Hopkins,” said Terry Grisham with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department.
Still, investigators have not yet made an arrest. Grisham said detectives have made contact with the truck’s owner but said that person is not cooperating.
“We do not have a physical person - suspect - right now we can put in that vehicle,” he said.
Detectives have a lot of evidence to process, but are also asking for any witnesses to come forward who might have seen the truck, and the driver, before or after the accident.
“We’re angry at the situation, but not the individual,” said Hopkins’ brother-in-law, Richard Massey. “We’re not seeking any revenge.”
Hopkins, who was a father of four, coached his children’s sports team and was well known in his neighborhood.
“It breaks your heart when you have to pull together for something like this,” said friend Lori Horak, who attended the vigil with her daughters. “It’s pretty devastating.”
Donations to the “Buddy Hopkins Fund” can be made at any American Airlines Credit Union office.