Off-duty Harris County Sheriff's deputy shot and killed

Off-duty Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Almendarez is dead after being shot while trying to stop suspects from stealing his catalytic converter during a trip to the grocery store Thursday night, according to officials.

Authorities say the shooting happened in a grocery store parking lot at 2929 FM 1960 at Aldine Westfield.

According to officials, the suspects were spotted attempting to steal the 51-year-old deputy’s catalytic converter. When Almendarez tried to stop them, gunfire errupted. Officials say the deputy returned fire but was struck by a bullet. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

The entire incident played out in front of the deputy’s wife, who was unharmed. The couple had been grocery shopping for a birthday party for his sister.

Two of the suspects reportedly drove themselves to a hospital and were being treated for gunshot wounds. They are now in custody. A third suspect is still being sought.

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