Update: Sadly An Off Duty TX Deputy Shot and Killed In Front of His Wife
Update: Two young men, ages 19 and 20, have been arrested and charged with capital murder for the death of Harris County Sheriff Deputy Darren Almendarez. The search continues for a third suspect.
Harris County Sheriffs Office Mourning the Loss of One of their Own
One of the saddest stories of the week for Texas coming out of Houston this morning as we learn about the tragic shooting that lead to the death of a Houston deputy who was tragically shot right in front of his wife. Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Almendarez was at a grocery store with his wife when he noticed three people who appeared to be stealing catalytic converters. It's reported that Almendarez and his wife were shopping for birthday supplies for his sister when he made the decision to intervene in what he believed to be a crime in progress even though he was off duty. He told his wife to run before he approached the group of thieves.
Almost immediately after presenting to the group, the men pulled guns out on Almendarez and opened fire, he was able to return to draw his gun and return fire, but then within seconds, he was struck by a bullet that ultimately killed him.
Almendarez was 51 years old.
Why Steal A Catalyst Converter?
Due to being generally easy and fast to steal, catalyst converters are being stolen at alarming rates with plenty of resale places willing to take them for cash without questions. But, there are things we can do to help deter criminals ( who are apparently willing to kill to steal them) from taking them. According to multiple online sources, converters can bring up to $1,000 plus dollars depending on the make and model.
How Can We Deter Theft of the Converters?
Farmers Insurance recommends etching your license plate number onto your catalytic converter as well as installing an anti-theft device. You can read the full article here.
Our hearts are with the Almendarez family and the Harris County Sheriff's Department.