Published: Wed, August 30, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Houston officer Steve Perez drowns in flood while heading to work

Houston officer Steve Perez drowns in flood while heading to work

A Houston police officer has died after he became trapped in flood waters whilst trying to get to work, the city police chief has said. After Perez drove on dark roads for two-and-a-half hours while trying to get to his duty station in downtown Houston, Perez called his commander to say he couldn't make it in, Acevedo said.

Sgt. Steve Perez, 60, had worked 34 years with the department, Acevedo said at a news conference.

"We made the decision to leave officers there, waiting, until morning, because as much as we wanted to recover him last night we could not put more officers at risk for what we knew in our hearts was going to be a recovery mission", Acevedo said.

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The Houston Chronicle first reported Perez's death, but officials would not immediately confirm it. He said officers kept watch over the area overnight.

At least eight people, including Perez, have been confirmed dead as a result of the storm, officials said. The officer's wife had urged her husband not to go to work that day because conditions were too risky, as did his father-in-law, Acevedo said. We will go through this extremely hard and trying time with heavy hearts sadly reminded of the ultimate sacrifice one of our own paid.

The officer's death brings the number of deaths in Texas as a result of Hurricane Harvey to 15. Officials have said more than 17,000 people have sought refuge in shelters and hundreds of thousands will likely seek some form of disaster assistance. Rain is expected to continue throughout southeast Texas.

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