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HCSO Deputy Darren Almendarez Remembered

Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Darren Almendarez was shot and killed by thieves stealing his truck’s catalytic converters, during a trip to the grocery store Thursday night, according to officials.

Darren Almendarez, 51, (a graduate of Milby High School in the East End) was a 23-year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, who was assigned to the auto theft taskforce.

Outpourings of condolences from significant public figures such as Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, the Houston Office of the FBI, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and so forth having been coming in since the story broke.

Prior to the shooting, Deputy Almendarez was shopping in the grocery store Joe V’s Smart Shop with his wife to prepare for his sister’s birthday celebration which was planned for Friday, according to the sheriff.

According to HCSO Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Deputy Almendarez was homeless early in his life and worked in fast food—”he was trying to make ends meet as a young man” before he committed his life to public service.

The sheriff said he knew the deputy both personally and professionally and described him as being “very mild spoken” and a “very great individual.”

Deputy Almendarez will be remembered as a loyal public servant who died while protecting his wife.

Earlier this year, Deputy Almendarez was featured in a video posted by the sheriff’s office on social media. He was advising the public on avoiding buying a stolen vehicle during a ride along. The Houston Police Officers’ Union shared the video early Friday morning following his death.

“This is a cop who was just out with his family,” Gonzalez said. “It could have been any one of us and it happened to be him.”

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez to Houston Public Media.

Please keep Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the family of Deputy Darren Almendarez in your thoughts and prayers.

Art rendering by graphic designer Rose Borisow GraFX on Facebook.