HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - For the wife of slain Harris County Sheriff's Department Sergeant Darrin Almendarez, the pain of loss is hardly over.
"This is not fair. This is like a dream, I want him to come home. I want him home," said Flor Zarzosa, Almendarez's widow.
The husband, father, and 23-year veteran of the force was allegedly gunned down by thieves attempting to rip off his truck's catalytic converter in a grocery store parking lot.
"I don't wish this on anybody. To witness your husband get killed, no," said Zarzosa at an emotional appearance before Harris County Commissioners Court.
Through her grief, Zarzosa pleaded with county leaders to crack down on an illicit trade, the growth of which has exploded in the current crime wave.
"Please, if it's in your power to do anything to change the laws to punish the people who are buying these things. Do something!" said Zarzosa.
Zarzosa's outcry was hardly a lone voice for action.
April Aguirre, aunt of murdered 9-year Arlene Alvarez, urged Commissioners to answer the call of law enforcement and fund more officers to combat the crime wave.
"This was my niece. Take a good hard look. I cannot help but wonder what would have happened if a single police officer driving down the road would have deterred that robber? If we had more police presence, would Arlene still be here today?" said Aguirre.
Aguirre and Zarzosa are the latest in a steady stream of surviving family members who have lost loved ones to call on Harris County Commissioners to attack the violent crime wave with resources and policies that support victims.