Deputy Darren Almendarez shooting: Motorcade for deputy slain after suspect receives no bail

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) – A procession from the medical examiner’s office to the funeral home was held Monday morning for Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Darren Almendarez, who was fatally shot last week in grocery store parking lot.

The procession began at 8 a.m. from the medical examiner’s office on Old Spanish Trail and ended at Brookside Funeral Home at 13747 Eastex Freeway.

Three men have been charged with capital murder in the death of the off-duty deputy: Fredrick Tardy, 17, Joshua Stewart, 23, and Fredarias Henry Clark, 19.

Clark waived his right to appear before a judge early Monday, but his case was still read in court, where a judge found probable cause and gave him no bond.

The three suspects are accused of attempting to steal the deputy’s catalytic converter from his truck in the parking lot of Joe V’s Smart Shop in the 2900 block of FM 1960 in Aldine Westfield at around 8.35pm on Thursday.

As Almendarez and his wife returned to their vehicle, they caught the men in the act, and investigators say that’s when one of the three men began shooting.

It was revealed in court on Monday that Clark was the driver of the suspects’ car and allegedly shot Almendarez first. Clark reportedly warned the other two suspects to get back in their car as Almendarez approached his truck. The men had cordless cutting tools.

Also according to court information, the suspects claimed the deputy was the one who shot them first, but security camera footage showed Clark shot before Almendarez.

“The driver later identified as this accused opened the driver’s front door, displayed a handgun outside the vehicle above the door frame, firing at the complainant. The complainant then pointed his gun approaching vehicle. When he reached the driver’s side door, grabbed this defendant’s handgun as he discharged it in the direction of the plaintiff,” the clerk said.

As the suspects drove away, Almendarez continued to fire at them because more shots may have been fired from the suspects’ car, ABC13 heard in court.

Later Monday morning, Stewart also appeared in court, where no cameras were allowed. ABC13 reporter Charly Edsitty was there to cover the appearance, noting that there was a heavy presence from the sheriff’s office.

The state is seeking the death penalty and has requested no bail for Stewart.

The three men are part of a larger crew that flies catalytic converters.

In 2019, Stewart was charged in Harris County with unlawful carrying of a weapon which was later dismissed, records show.

In November 2020, Clark was convicted of criminal trespassing and later unlawful carrying of a weapon which was later dismissed.


Follow Charly Edsitty on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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