Authorities say Darren Almendarez, 51, a member of the auto theft squad, died after a gunfight with suspects attempting to steal a portion of his truck.
Authorities reported Friday that an off-duty Texas sheriff’s deputy who works in the auto theft section was shot after a fight with multiple persons attempting to steal his truck’s catalytic converter.
According to tweets
From the Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Deputy Darren Almendarez, 51, went shopping for groceries with his wife Thursday night in preparation for a barbeque to celebrate his sister’s birthday the next day.
After spotting three persons attempting to steal his truck’s catalytic converter as the couple exited the Houston-area grocery shop, Almendarez advised his wife to flee. According to Gonzalez, he was shot during a gunfight with the suspects.
Gonzalez said Almendarez was transferred to a hospital in severe condition and died a few hours later.
His death was confirmed by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office on Friday morning.
Almendarez had been with the agency for 23 years and had been assigned to the vehicle theft squad for the past year. In a ride-along video released on Jan. 7, the agency highlighted his work in the vehicle theft squad.
In it, Almendarez depicts a typical day at work and offers advice on how to avoid purchasing a stolen vehicle as the market for secondhand vehicles expands.