Family and community remember HCSO deputy killed in grocery store parking lot

HUMBLE, Texas (KTRK) -- Hundreds gathered on Friday to honor the life and service of fallen Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Almendarez.

Fifty-one year old Almendarez was off-duty, leaving the grocery store with his wife last Thursday when they saw three men allegedly trying to steal the catalytic converter off their truck. Authorities say as he approached the suspects, they shot him multiple times.

We are told by Sheriff Ed Gonzalez that Deputy Almendarez was well loved and respected. The sheriff's office says about 200 of his family members were in attendance for the visitation and funeral.

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Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez shared these words about his fallen deputy.

Deputy Almendarez served with the Harris County Sheriff's Office for 23 years. He was most recently assigned to the auto theft division.

Gonzalez said he hopes people remember how Almendarez lived his life, not only how he lost it.

"Deputy Almendarez, until his final breath, continued to serve this community, and I think that's very admirable. He was an exemplary deputy for us. He served in a number of different areas and to each last coworker, everyone just sings his praises. He was a lifelong learner, something I can relate to. He likes to teach others. He liked to make things better and he was very committed to his work, again until his final moment," said Gonzalez.

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