DEMING, N.M. (KRQE) – The family of fallen New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott is honoring his memory. Saturday afternoon, the family spoke publicly for the first time since his death. They called him a fallen hero. “I am Darian’s uncle,” New Mexico State Police Officer David Tarango said. “I too am an NMSP officer in District 12, Lordsburg.”

For Jarrott’s family, ties to New Mexico State Police run deep. “His mother recently retired as an NMSP administrator in Lordsburg,” Narango said. “His sister is currently working in Lordsburg as a transportation inspector with the Department of Public Safety, NMSP.”

Tarango said Jarrott was honored to be part of the New Mexico State Police family. “Our family remembers Darian as a happy, outgoing and lovable person regardless of what life threw at him,” Tarango said.”

Jarrott grew up in Lordsburg. He joined Police Athletic League as a child and graduated from Lordsburg High in 2010. His uncle said Jarrott went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from Western New Mexico University. “He loved hunting, but most of all, he loved his job,” Tarango said.

Family, friends, and people around town gathered at NMSP headquarters in Deming Saturday following Jarrott’s death this week. Jarrott was helping homeland security with an investigation when he pulled over a man, identified as 39-year-old Omar Felix Cueva, on I-10 Thursday and was shot. “Today is about the family telling us about Darian Jarrott,” New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Thornton said. “It is not about us. It is about the man, the brother, and the father he was.”

Some said they didn’t know Jarrott personally but grieve his loss. “Number one, because he is a hero,” Kimberly Little, who lives in Deming, said. “He is protecting the community from a violent criminal. Number two, because of his family – having those babies grow up without their daddy.”

For Jarrott, his uncle said family was always first. “He loved with all of his heart, most of all, his children,” Tarango said.

Jarrott was a father of three with a fourth on the way. The mother of two of his children also spoke Saturday. She said Jarrott’s kids were who he was most proud of.

Watch the full press conference below: