MESA, AZ - A 12-year-old boy says he has dreams to be a police officer after being inspired by a Mesa officer who was hit and killed by a wrong-way driver Monday.
Officer Brandon Mendoza was known in the area for helping out with the community, specifically at the Boys and Girls Club of Arizona in Mesa.
Residents told ABC15 Mendoza knew many of them by name and was dedicated to keeping their area safe.
A 12-year-old boy says the Mesa officer was his hero.
"Every time I went to the park or played basketball, he was always there on top of the hill watching over the kids," said Jonathan Mondaca.
Mondaca now wants to be an officer and keep his home safe.
"Every time I saw Mr. Mendoza riding around and doing his job...I thought that if I could be a cop I could keep" the community safe.
Mendoza was killed Monday morning on his way home from work by a motorist who traveled nearly 40 miles from Scottsdale to Tempe driving into the oncoming traffic lanes.