Injured Dallas officer from El Paso released from hospital

Dallas police officer Crystal Almeida

An El Paso native who was seriously injured in the line of duty in Dallas is now recovering at home.

Dallas police Officer Crystal Almeida was hospitalized last month after being shot in the line of duty.

The Dallas News reported Almeida was released from the hospital on Saturday.

Squad cars escorted her and her family to her home near Dallas.

Almeida, who has been on the force for three years, graduated from Americas High School in El Paso, where she played basketball.

She, Officer Rogelio Santander and a loss-prevention officer for Home Depot were shot Tuesday by a man identified by police as 29-year-old Armando Luis Juarez.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced Wednesday morning that Santander died of his injuries.

Almeida underwent surgery at a Dallas hospital and is in an induced coma, according to her stepmother, Maria.

Maria and Manuel spoke with CBS4 about their daughter. They said Crystal has always had a helping nature and its what inspired her to go into law enforcement.

"She's a wonder young girl. She's strong young girl. She started her career in law, came to the police academy in Dallas. She wanted to be a police officer and she did."

Manuel said Crystal was called to serve.

"I'm very proud of my daughter. Even though we know that she's in harm's way, but she likes to help people," said Manuel.

Police arrested Juarez following a high-speed car chase. He's being held at the Dallas County jail on charges of aggravated assault on a public servant and felony theft. He was taken into custody shortly before 10 p.m.

An arrest warrant for Juarez indicates he was detained at the Home Depot store because he was acting suspiciously and may have tried to steal from the store.

The warrant reveals an officer who was working a part-time job at the store Tuesday learned Juarez had an outstanding felony warrant.

Almeida and Santander were called to the store and, along with a store security officer, were speaking with Juarez in the loss prevention office.

The off-duty officer stepped away and, when that officer returned to the office, he found all three on the ground, with gunshot wounds.

Police body camera footage shows Juarez pulling a handgun from his pocket as Almeida and Santander attempted to take him into custody.

Crystal's stepmother told CBS4 her daughter is fighter. They expect her her to survive this tragedy, Maria said.

"She is by no means, how can I say, a quitter. This is going to slow her down a little bit. But, God is good. I'm pretty sure that she'll be back to doing what she loves to do," said Manuel

It's unclear when she will be able to return to work.


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