By Beth Hahn
Bernalillo County sheriff's Deputy James McGrane Jr. would have
dedication service in Tijeras on Saturday afternoon.
"He would have said 'I'm just doing my job,' '' James McGrane Sr.
told a crowd of about 100 law enforcement officers, EMTs and East
McGrane Jr. was shot and killed on March 22, 2006, a short
distance from the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department substation
where a black granite memorial was unveiled in his honor
Investigators suspect Michael Paul Astorga, wanted in connection
with a separate November 2005 murder in Albuquerque, shot
McGrane during a traffic stop in Tijeras to avoid capture.
Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White said the week leading up to
the March 22 anniversary of the shooting had been difficult for his
department, but that support from the East Mountains community
helped ease the pain.
"While we will continue to struggle with his loss, we recognize that
Jimmy has left an indelible mark on all of us," he told the crowd.
The black granite memorial eventually will be moved to a new
sheriff's department substation to be built in Tijeras, which will
bear McGrane's name, White said.
The memorial monument, featuring a picture of McGrane and the
likeness of an angel, bears this inscription: "Cry not for my
passing, for it was my honor to fight for you. Shed not tears of
sorrow, but tears of joy, for now, I stand with God."
McGrane Sr. said the words were a fitting description of what his
son would say to his fellow officers and others affected by his
"We wanted a memorial, because it's a reminder of how (McGrane
Jr.) would have felt," he said.
Through various fundraisers, the McGranes collected more than
$26,000 so that 300 officers could get special training on how to
react when they come under fire. McGrane Sr. said he would like to
see the training become an annual event for law enforcement
officers around the state.
The memorial dedication was part of a weeklong remembrance of
McGrane Jr. that also included a Catholic Mass and a reception in
Tijeras after the memorial dedication.
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Dedications and Honor
|Members of the East Mountain Coalition of
Neighborhood and Landowners Association,
County Commissioner Michael Brasher and Village
of Tijeras Mayor Gloria Chavez will join the East of
Tijeras Mayor Gloria Chavez will join the East
Mountain community in a memorial tribute to fallen
Sheriff's Deputy James "Jimmy" McGrane on
Saturday, May 20, 2006.
A four-foot metal cross will be permanently placed
at the site Deputy McGrane was killed.
Immediately following, a tree will be planted at
memorial piece created by a member of the
The event will begin at 3:00 pm on Saturday, May
20, 2006 at Highway 337, immediately south of the
intersection in the middle of Tijeras. Highway 337
will be closed by the State Highway Department
during the memorial ceremony.