Houston Police officer Steve Perez woke up on Sunday morning determined to answer the call of duty. Much of his city was still underwater and victims remained stranded, waiting to be rescued by first responders who are currently carrying out jaw-dropping feats of heroism in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Perez’s wife urged him not to go to work because the conditions were so treacherous. His father-in-law, a Korean War veteran, also told him to stay home.
His response? “We’ve got work to do.”Joe Raedle/Getty Images
On his way to work, Perez made a wrong turn and ended up driving into roughly 16-feet of flood water and drowned.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo broke down in tears during a Tuesday press conference as he told the stunning story of heroism and sacrifice. He said Perez was relentless as he tried to find a path into work so he could help save lives.
“He was a sweet, gentle public servant,” Acevedo said of Perez.
Acevedo went on to reveal what he told Perez’s wife:
“And so I told his wife, ‘Let me ask you something, ma’am, you’re a person of faith. If the Lord was going to take him today, how do you think he would want to go, laying in bed, watching a disaster, or doing what he’s done for 34 years?’ And the smile that overcame that woman’s face, his beautiful wife, said it all. If it was his turn to go, she said, this is the way he would have wanted to go.”
There are no words.
Watch video of the press conference below.