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Third suspect arrested in Texas deputy’s murder; Gov. Abbot calls for death penalty

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A third suspect has been arrested in connection to the fatal Thursday shooting of Texas Deputy Darren Almendarez, who is being remembered as “a remarkable man,” according to authorities.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez initially announced the arrests of Joshua Stewart, 23, and Fredarius Clark, 19, on Friday evening. He later announced the arrest of a 17-year-old male suspect. All three suspects face capital murder charges.

Gonzalez described Almendarez, 51, as “a remarkable man and public servant” in a Friday tweet.”

Harris County  Deputy Darren Almendarez pictured in a sheriff’s department video. Two men have been arrested and charged in his death as he left a grocery store with his wife Thursday.

Harris County  Deputy Darren Almendarez pictured in a sheriff’s department video. Two men have been arrested and charged in his death as he left a grocery store with his wife Thursday.
(Harris County Sheriff’s Office )

“Humble beginnings, grew up in Second Ward and played sports at Settegast Park. From his first job as a teen at Whataburger on Harrisburg to fulfilling his goal of being a cop,” Gonzalez wrote.

TWO MEN CHARGED IN SHOOTING DEATH OF OFF-DUTY TEXAS DEPUTY IN GROCERY STORE PARKING LOT

Almendarez was out buying groceries with his wife for his sister’s birthday party. While exiting Joe V’s Smart Shop, he apparently spotted the three suspects “attempting to steal his truck’s catalytic converter,” Gonzalez tweeted. 

The suspects had backed their Nissan up to Almendarez’s truck, and the off-duty deputy then spotted two of the suspects beneath his vehicle. Almendarez told his wife to go somewhere safe and approached the suspect vehicle, which by then had three people inside, authorities said.

Harris County Deputy Darren Almendarez murder suspects Joshua Stewart and Fredarius Clark.

Harris County Deputy Darren Almendarez murder suspects Joshua Stewart and Fredarius Clark.
(Harris County Sheriff’s Office)

Suspsects allegedly fired at the Almendarez as he approached the vehicle, and Almendarez was struck multiple times. The deputy managed to return fire and shot at least two suspects, who then fled the parking lot. Authorities transported Almendarez to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Stewart and Clark arrived at a hospital in the suspect vehicle a short time later with gunshot wounds, authorities said.

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News of Almendarez’s murder led Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to voice support for capital punishment for “cop killers” in a Friday tweet.

Harris County Deputy Darren Almendarez and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Harris County Deputy Darren Almendarez and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
(Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Montinique Monroe/Getty Images )

Almendarez, a 23-year veteran of the sheriff’s office who was most recently assigned to the auto theft division, was remembered Thursday night as a “fighter.” He was recently the focus of a sheriff’s office spotlight video where he offered steps to avoid buying a stolen vehicle and other tips. 

The HCSO is asking anyone with information Almendarez’s murder to contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit at 713-274-9100 or CrimeStoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).





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Former New Zealand rugby player Johnstone becomes first All Black to come out as gay

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Former New Zealand rugby player Johnstone becomes first All Black to come out as gay



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Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence awarded to Julie Otsuka, Ed Yong

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Novelist Julie Otsuka has strong memories of libraries from her childhood California — the bike rides with her best friend to the local branch; the soft, firm sound of librarians closing books; the shopping bags she and her friend would fill with science fiction and other stories.

“It seemed like I lived at the library,” she says. “I felt very free to explore there, and explore away from adult eyes.”

The library community also has warm feelings about Otsuka. Her novel “The Swimmers,” in which a group of swimmers collectively narrate their daily routines and what happens when those routines are disrupted, has won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, a $5,000 honor presented by the American Library Association. Ed Yong’s “An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us” won the nonfiction medal, which also comes with a $5,000 cash prize.

CARNEGIE HERO FUND COMMISSION ANNOUNCES 20 MEDAL WINNERS

“Julie Otsuka proves herself a master of narrative voice, thrillingly balancing the incredible vitality of community life with the myriad challenges faced by individuals and families within that community,” Stephen Sposato, chair of the medals’ selection committee, said in a statement released Sunday.

Japanese-born U.S. author Julie Otsuka, above, has been awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Ed Yong won the same award for nonfiction. 

Japanese-born U.S. author Julie Otsuka, above, has been awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Ed Yong won the same award for nonfiction. 
(MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP via Getty Images)

“And, standing out even during a recent golden age of nature writing, Ed Yong dazzles with a deeply considered exploration of the many modes of sensory perception that life has evolved to navigate the world, written with exhilarating freshness.”

COLSON WHITEHEAD NOVEL A CARNEGIE MEDAL FINALIST

Otsuka, 60, has also written the novels “The Buddha in the Attic,” winner of the PEN/Faulkner award in 2011; and “When the Emperor Was Divine.” Her other honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The 41-year-old Yong, a native of Malaysia who emigrated to the United Kingdom in his teens, is a staff writer for The Atlantic. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2021 for his reporting on the coronavirus pandemic. Like Otsuka, Yong was influenced early by libraries. “Strangely enough for indoor spaces, libraries for me were gateways to the natural world,” he told The Associated Press. “As a kid, I spent a lot of time reading books that expanded my knowledge — and love — of nature, and I can only hope that ‘An Immense World’ does the same for people today.”

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The Carnegie Medals were established in 2012, with help from a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Previous winners include James McBride, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Matthew Desmond.



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Teacher accused of abuse at Edinburgh schools arrested

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Man accused of abuse by BBC broadcaster Nicky Campbell set to appear in court in South Africa.



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