Mr. Speaker, Houston police officer Rodney Johnson was larger than life. At 65", 300 pounds, strangers were intimidated by him. But those who knew him knew a gentle giant who always did the right thing; and because of his honor and loyalty, he was respected and well-liked by fellow officers and citizens.

He was a loving husband. He was married to a fellow HPD officer, Joslyn; and he was a dedicated father to three daughters and two sons. But those three daughters will never again run to meet their father when he comes home, those two sons will never play ball with their father, and a wife who will now face every day as a single mother. All because a man who made a habit of running from the law finally got caught.

On Thursday, September 21, 2006, as the sun was setting in Texas, Officer Rodney Johnson made his last routine traffic stop. He didn't know the outlaw he arrested was hiding a pistol in his pants, and this desperado took desperate measures.

What happened next wasn't just homicide. It was robbery, robbery of Officer Johnson's life, and it was stolen from him, from his family, and from a community that loved him. Stolen by a man who had no regard for the law or lawmen.

This criminal was sitting behind Officer Johnson in that patrol car. He was handcuffed, but this bandit withdrew a hidden pistol and fired it. Even the thick plastic partition meant to protect peace officers couldn't survive the blast. At point-blank range, Officer Johnson was shot four times in the back and in the face.

Although fatally wounded, Officer Johnson pushed an emergency response button alerting dispatch, ``officer down, officer down.'' And when his fellow officers in blue rushed to the scene, the criminal still had the smoking gun in his hand, and he even took another shot at a wrecker driver.

The vitality, loyalty and all of the virtues that Johnson stood for were drained from his body; and the family and fellow officers feel shock and rage for his death. Other families who he protected every day are saddened as well.

One neighbor says, ``It just breaks my heart. I feel so bad for his wife. He got up and went to work this morning, and this is what happened to him. This is what happened to one of the people who protects us, the citizens. He truly cared about us.''

They weren't the only ones Johnson took care of. He once rushed into a burning building thinking not what the flames would do to him but only what the flames were doing to the children trapped inside.

It was not his only heroic act. Others earned him lifesaving awards, and the prestigious Medal of Valor was given to him by the citizens of Houston.

This native Houstonian served in the United States Army as a military police officer. Back in the great State of Texas, he spent several years as a corrections officer, as a jailer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; and, finally, in 1994, Rodney Johnson was sworn in as a Houston police officer.

He would spend the next 12 years of his life protecting and serving the citizens of Houston, Texas, his hometown. And since 1996, Officer Johnson has been a well-respected member of the Southeast Houston Gang Task Force.

Some say he could have been a superman because of his size with his commanding presence and mission to help others. He protected the communities and ensured justice for all.

Sadly, his kryptonite was a downfall for our Nation. Our inability to shut down the borders, our inability to send illegals home and make sure they didn't come back.

This criminal who shot Officer Rodney Johnson murdered him because he feared being deported back to Mexico again. Juan Quintero is a lawless illegal whose disregard for the United States and its rules started when he illegally set foot in American soil. He was deported once for indecency with a child, but he came back to finish a string of crimes. Having snuck back into America, he then shot an American lawman in the back.

During the 25th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial service in June, a powerful statement was given to honor those who had fallen in the line of duty. I reiterate this statement. It says, ``Well served peace officer, may you rest in peace.''

But I add, may our country's poorly enforced border control policies also rest in peace so we may never again see another family member put through what this family has endured because of lawless illegals who never should have been here in the first place.

Officer Johnson is a role model for future officers who wear the badge. We wish his family the best as they mourn for their superman. The Houston community has poured out their hearts for his family, and people have started donating money to his five children.

But our task is not complete. We must strengthen the border for his five children and all of America's children. Peace officers, Mr. Speaker, are the last strand of wire in the fence between the good and the evil. They wear the badge with pride, and tonight the peace officers wear the black cloth of sacrifice against their badges.

Mr. Speaker, God bless Officer Johnson.

And that's just the way it is.