'The ultimate sacrifice': Houston Police Sgt. Steve Perez drowned in Harvey floodwaters

Flooding from Hurricane Harvey, now Category 1, could leave communities underwater for days

A Houston police officer died Sunday after being accidentally driving in his patrol vehicle into a flooded underpass, city officials say.

Perez leaves behind a wife, son and daughter, and was going to turn 61 in two days.

"In the darkness, Sgt. Perez drove under an underpass and drove into the water", Acevedo said.

Turner added that Perez had been so determined to report for duty that morning, that when his wife urged him to reconsider leaving home, he responded, "I've got work to do".

At least eight people, including Perez, have been confirmed dead as a result of the storm, officials said.


The chief said Sgt. Steve Perez was trying to get to his primary post in downtown Houston about 4 a.m. Sunday, KPRC in Houston reported.

The flooding was so bad that Perez' primary work location was evacuated.

"We couldn't find him", Acevedo said through tears. Acevedo said. Search crews even enlisted the help of the volunteer "Cajun Navy" to help look for Perez, Acevedo said. At about 10 p.m. Monday, police had narrowed the search area to the Hardy Tollway and Beltway 8 - an area where they felt there was a high sense of probability that it was the last place he would have been. The family has yet to be notified.

Chief Arcevedo said he was "heartened" by the fact he soon realize of the Perez family that this was a "family of faith, faith in God, there's hope in eternal life".

At the news conference, Acevedo became choked up describing Perez as "one of the sweetest people I've ever met".

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