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Ramirez died while working ‘dream job’

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    Ramirez
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    The tribute banner for Carlos Ramirez is at the Kendall County Sheriff's Office. Star photo by Elena Tucker

A memorial banner is at the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office for people to sign to pay respects for Deputy Carlos Ramirez, who was killed last Tuesday, July 2, during a routine traffic stop on westbound Interstate 10 north of Boerne.

He was 32 years old.

“We encourage you to visit and sign the banner to show community support to our deputy’s family,” information on a KCSO Facebook post stated. “Thank you for your kind thoughts, visits, food, generosity and friendship. We are blessed to live in the best county in the nation.”

The banner will remain at the sheriff’s office “for another couple of days,” a spokesperson said on Monday. The banner started at Longhorn Café but was moved to the KCSO over the weekend.

On July 2, Ramirez and his partner conducted the traffic stop near the 533 mile marker. During the stop, Ramirez was struck and killed by a passing motorist. The incident happened at about 7:30 a.m. near the Waring exit.

In his obituary (see page 2), his family described Ramirez’s work at the sheriff’s office as “his dream job.”

“Today, July 2, 2019, will be remembered as a tragic day here in Kendall County and specifically for the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Al Auxier said during an afternoon press conference that day. “Today, we mourn the loss of deputy Carlos Ramirez.”

During Kendall County Commissioners Court on Monday, an emotional Judge Darrel Lux spoke about both Ramirez and Deputy Matt Johnson, who lost a yearlong battle with cancer on Saturday. (See accompanying story on page 1).

The judge noted the “loss of two dedicated deputies who left us too soon.”

“Carlos Ramirez lost his life (last) Tuesday morning in a tragic accident in the line of duty, and Matthew Johnson lost a hard-fought battle against cancer on Friday,” Lux said. “Both men devoted their lives to serving their community, and Deputy Ramirez also served his country in the Army Reserves. They were respected and upright young men, giving of themselves to provide us a safe place to live.

“Please keep Carlos’ and Matt’s families in your prayers, and always remember these two young men who lived to serve others.”

On Saturday, Ramirez’s body was escorted by motorcade by members of the KCSO from Hardin Mortuary in San Antonio to Comfort along I-10. His funeral is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, at Oak Hills Church, 19595 Interstate 10 in San Antonio. Graveside services and interment will be at 11:30 a.m. on July 16 at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery in El Paso.

Ramirez’s death was the first on-duty fatality in Kendall County since 1999.

“Deputy Ramirez sought a profession with moral content, to be of service and to protect others,” Kendall County Criminal District Attorney Nicole Bishop told The Star. “He served and sacrificed for a purpose far greater than himself. He leaves a legacy of courage and respect, bravery and integrity.

“Normal citizens appreciate but can never truly obtain the experience, knowledge, and understanding of what our law enforcement does every day. However, this loss reminds our community of the price Deputy Ramirez and all of our law enforcement is willing to pay for the citizens of Kendall County. It is now our duty as protected citizens to remember this, and become champions for officer safety and support.

“For these are the brave men and women who knowingly and voluntarily enter this noble and dangerous profession. They protect us when we cannot protect ourselves, and they run toward danger so we can seek safety.”

Both Boerne Mayor Tim Handren and city Police Chief Jim Kohler said they personally did not know Ramirez. However, they still offered their condolences.

“(We) are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred last Tuesday, claiming the life of Deputy Carlos Ramirez,” Handren said. “This is a devastating loss to our community, and our continued prayers are with his entire family. This tragedy serves as a stark reminder that all the men and women in uniform, working to keep our community safe, put their lives on the line every day.”

“His family has our deepest condolences,” Kohler said. “This is such a tragedy, and, unfortunately, police officers are losing their lives almost on a daily basis. May he rest in peace.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety is handling the crash investigation. It has offered no details, including how it may have occurred.

It was reported a black pickup hit Ramirez and that the driver stopped at the scene. Both Ramirez’s partner, who has not been named, and the driver of the stopped vehicle, also unnamed, were transported to an area hospital after the incident.

The partner later was released. No information was given on the condition of the driver of the stopped vehicle.

No information was provided about the driver of the black pickup, what may have caused the crash or if charges are pending.

“We want to make sure the investigation is thorough and complete,” DPS spokesman Lt. Jason Reyes told The Star last week. “Once it’s complete, we will turn it over to the district attorney’s office for review.”

Ramirez was born in Juarez, Mexico, on July 1, 1987. He graduated from Berges High School in 2006, and at the age of 20 he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served several tours overseas, including in Iraq and Djibouti.

In December 2016, he began his career in law enforcement with the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office. Information from his family stated it was “his dream job.”

Ramirez also served as a reservist for the Army. He recently returned from a tour of duty in Africa and restarted working for the sheriff’s office in April.

“He proudly wore his uniform every day, whether it was military or law enforcement. This is his journey; this is his legacy …,” his obituary reads.

Ramirez married his wife, Jessica, on April 7, 2014. They have two children, Alex and Ava.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorials be given in his memory to the Kendall County 100 Club.

The Kendall County 100 Club Facebook page stated that as of Monday morning, $33,305 had been raised for Ramirez’s family.

Lux said the county is offerings its employees the opportunity to attend funeral services.

“On Thursday there may be some office closures,” he said. “Please understand if you get here and one of these smaller offices is closed.”

– Star reporter Elena Tucker contributed to this story.