"He didn’t deserve this," cries Gutierrez's stepsister Anita Bonilla. "The news was very devastating for me and I just pray that he’s in a better place."
Even after 20 years with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, loved ones still worried about Sgt. Gutierrez's safety. In his last conversation with his niece Veronica Cruz, she told him to be safe.
"I had told him, ‘OK be careful because there are a lot of crazy people out there.’ That’s why when I saw this I was shocked," explains Cruz.
Around 12:30 early Monday morning, Sgt. Gutierrez was working an off-duty job escorting trucks hauling heavy machinery. He blocked an exit ramp with his motorcycle.
Investigators say 40-year-old Lavillia Spry was driving drunk, went around the blockade, and ran over Sgt. Gutierrez, killing him.
Detectives say she drove away and was finally caught and arrested by another deputy.
"She went out there and killed my brother. Or it could have been anybody else. I hope this lady remembers what she did the rest of her life," says Bonilla. "He wanted to be a police officer ever since he was young and I was so proud of him when he accomplished that."
"I’m very sad to have lost him. I feel like he’s gone too soon," adds Cruz.
The sergeant leaves behind his wife, who is his high school sweetheart and their three children.
His daughter is scheduled to get married in two months.
"Who’s going to walk her down the aisle now? This is his only daughter. Just like ‘boom’ and he’s gone. They’re torn to pieces. They are torn to pieces. Especially his wife. She was with him ever since they were in high school," cries Bonilla.
INVESTIGATION INTO SERGEANT'S DEATH
Sgt. Gutierrez has worked in HCSO's Vehicular Crimes Unit for 13 years.
Now the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Vehicular Crimes Unit is left with the difficult task of investigating the death of one of its own after Sgt. Gutierrez was killed by an accused drunk driver.
"It was emotional for me. It was incredibly emotional for every single one of them that were working there," says Harris County District Attorney’s Office Vehicular Crimes Chief Sean Teare. "I do this for a living. We meet with people who've lost loved ones tragically like this all the time but when it’s someone that’s effectively in your own family."
LAVILLIA SPRY CHARGES
Lavillia Spry, 40, is charged with Intoxication Manslaughter, Failure to Stop and Render Aid and Evading Arrest in the death of a Harris County Sheriff's Office sergeant.
Lavillia Spry is charged with Intoxication Manslaughter, Failure to Stop and Render Aid and Evading Arrest. She lives less than a mile from where Sgt. Gutierrez was run over and killed.
Investigators are looking into where she may have been served the alcohol. Although they say she’s claiming to have been drinking at home.
"Sgt. Gutierrez is dead because of it. He’s dead because she acted in an incredibly selfish manner," says Teare.
"I would just like to tell people to please think before they drive drunk," says Cruz.