Memorial planned for man who died in confrontation with Richland police

The Mercado family remember Jose Mercado

The Mercado family speak speak to the Herald about Jose Mercado , who died after a confrontation with Richland police.
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The Mercado family speak speak to the Herald about Jose Mercado , who died after a confrontation with Richland police.

A memorial service is planned for the Texas man who died during a confrontation Monday with Richland police.

Six of Jose “Joey” Mercado’s seven children live in the Tri-Cities and they plan to remember their father at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at 1 p.m. next Friday, his son Jacob Mercado told the Herald.

The telephone company lineman from the Fort Worth area had driven to the Tri-Cities to see relatives he hadn’t seen for more than four years, said his son.

He’d been in town less than 24 hours when he fought with police and died while being arrested.

“He was just coming to my house and we were supposed to reconnect ... and it just kinda got out of hand,” said Jacob Mercado.

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Jose Mercado of Fort Worth, Texas, died in police custody early Monday. Courtesy: Family of Jose Mercado GoFundMe account

“When the cops got there, it went from zero to 100 so fast,” he said. “One cop shot him with a Taser then another cop shot him with a Taser and after that we just didn’t know what happened.”

Five Richland officers are on paid leave while the death is investigated. Two officers suffered minor injuries in the struggle, said investigators.

His children told the Herald on Friday that the grandfather of six with another on the way liked making people laugh and loved singing and dancing.

“He could find a party wherever he was,” Jacob Mercado said. “If he had some Coronas, if he had some music, it was a party. “

Family members created a GoFundMe campaign to help cover funeral and travel expenses to Texas.

Jacob Mercado said his family is currently focused on gaining permission to see his body, following a disagreement between Tri-City family members and Mercado’s wife and relatives in Texas.

“We miss him. We miss his laugh. We’ll never get that back,” he said.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.