HOUSTON — HPD Senior Officer Bill Jeffrey and Sgt. Michael Vance were shot while serving a narcotics-related arrest warrant with the Major Offenders Fugitive Squad in the 5300 block of Aeropark on Monday morning.
Jeffrey didn't survive while Vance is expected to live.
Sheri and Ronny Cortez know all too well what the officers’ families are going through.
Ronny Cortez was a Houston police officer when he was shot in 2017. He was confronting a burglary suspect.
“It’s been long. It’s been tedious. But it’s just something that’s been presented to me,” Ronnie Cortez said.
Every day, he lives with the impacts of the shooting that left him paralyzed.
“The situation is bad but it could have been a lot worse," he said.
For his wife Sheri, hearing about the shooting that took the life of Jeffrey and injured Vance brings it all back.
“Nobody really understands what we go through, especially us wives. You know, we watch them walk out the door every day in their uniform," she said.
The couple got the news early Monday morning. Sheri rushed to tell Ronny and the couple’s son, Evan, who graduated from the police academy in May. He wears his father's badge number.
“My fight for the department doesn’t stop with just me. Now I have to fight for what he does," Ronny Cortez said.
The fight includes frustration at repeat offenders being let out of jail.
“The part that makes it worse is that officers are going out there and risking their lives to arrest people over and over again. The same people,” Ronny Cortez said.
The Cortezes now spend their days supporting other law enforcement families.
“The big thing is we are all just making sure we are there for them," Sheri Cortez said.
Ronny Cortez’s next goal is driving a car that’s been outfitted for him. It will give him more independence for the journey ahead.
“Not every situation is going to be the same. Not every family is going to be able to cope the same. You just have to do what’s good for your family and what gets you through the day," Ronny Cortez said.
Therapy for Ronny is still a full-time job. He goes four days a week and says his biggest strength is his family.