SAN ANTONIO -

Visitation began Thursday for San Antonio police Officer Robert Deckard, 31, who was shot while in the line of duty in December.

Deckard was shot as he pursued a pair of robbery suspects in a chase that began on the city’s south side and went through Atascosa and Wilson counties.

"It's just a tragic, tragic loss to the department, to his family (and) to the city," said San Antonio police Chief William McManus on Thursday.

Deckard was hit in the head by a shot fired from the fleeing suspects' car. He died 12 days later after he was removed from life support.

"Officer Deckard was everything that you could ask for in a police officer," McManus said. "He was tough when he needed to be tough. He was kind when he needed to be kind. He was compassionate when he needed to be compassionate."

The suspects were later captured in Wilson County and are facing capital murder charges.

Thursday’s visitation for Deckard at Porter Loring Funeral home was for police officers only. Viewing for the general public will be from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday.

Funeral services for Deckard will be on Saturday at Cornerstone Church, on Stone Oak Parkway, with interment to follow at Mission Burial Park South.

McManus said there is a large contingent of out-of-town officers who will be attending Deckard's funeral. That was among their considerations for delaying the funeral until Saturday.

He said that since Deckard died over the holidays, many of those officers wouldn't be available.

"Officer Deckard deserves as many people as we can get at the funeral and deserves the honor and respect for an officer who died in the line of duty," McManus said.

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