By WILL WEISSERT
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry is honoring Texas police officers, firefighters and first-responders killed or seriously injured in the line of duty - including 12 who died in the West fertilizer plant blast.
The dozen were volunteer firefighters from West or surrounding areas who rushed to fight April flames that triggered the explosion, killing 15 people.
Also receiving Star of Texas awards are Kaufman County District Attorney Michael McLelland and his wife Cynthia. They were gunned down in March, following the slaying of Assistant DA Mark Hasse, who is also being honored.
The Star of Texas Award was created in 2003. Perry will distribute awards Thursday at an Austin church.
Also receiving one is U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata, killed in Mexico in 2011, allegedly by the Zetas cartel.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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