Southeast Texas law enforcement responds to death of Houston-area deputy

Photo by Meagan Ellsworth

Local law enforcement officials are among those mourning the death of a Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

“With heavy hearts,” the HCSO announced on Friday that its agency was mourning the loss of its late deputy Darren Almendarez, 51. The off-duty deputy was fatally shot Thursday night in a drive-by shooting in the parking lot of a northern Harris County grocery store.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Almendarez was approached by three men, who may have been trying to steal his vehicle or his vehicle’s catalytic converter, while he was out shopping with his wife. The couple were shopping for items for her sister’s upcoming birthday dinner, according to the report.

“A 23-year veteran of the agency, he has served in our auto theft unit for the past year,” HCSO said in a social media post. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, children, extended family, colleagues and friends.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety in the Southeast Texas Region shared their condolences.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Deputy Almendarez and (HCSO) during this heartbreaking time,” the region’s DPS tweeted.

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