Two men have been charged in connection with the shooting death of an off-duty Texas deputy after a gunman left a grocery store on Thursday night, and a third man is being sought, authorities said Friday.
Joshua Stewart, 23, and Frederic Clark, 19, both of Harris County Sheriff’s Office, have been charged in connection with the killings.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the deputy was walking out of a Joe V’s smart shop with his wife when he saw a Nissan Ultima near his truck and two men backing up under the truck.
“Probably a catalyst converter that was stolen,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told a news conference Thursday night. “We are not sure. Those details are still being investigated. But, he intervened. He intervened to try to stop a crime. “
Almenderaz, 51, told his wife to go somewhere safe and he went to the suspect’s car, which had three people in it at the time, authorities said.
He was shot and wounded more than once as he passed by. The deputy turned his shotgun on himself when apprehended by a police officer on the porch of the house where the shootings took place.
They later left the parking lot and fled. Almendrez was taken to hospital, where he later died.
Stuart and Clark arrived at the hospital shortly after the suspect was shot in the car and arrived at a hospital, authorities said. Investigators are searching for a third man, aged between 17 and 19, for questioning.
Almendarez, a 23-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who was recently employed in the auto theft department, was remembered as a “fighter” on Thursday night. He recently focused on a spotlight video from a sheriff’s office where he suggested steps to avoid buying a stolen car and other tips.
At the time of her death, she had bought groceries and planned a cooking to celebrate her sister’s birthday on Friday, Gonzalez said.