Saturday morning is when Missouri City Police Chief Michael Berezin said he got the call.
“It’s heart-wrenching,” he said.
Chief Berezin said he was five hours away, learning one of his officers was down.
“I don’t want any police officer hurt,” he said. “But when it’s one of ours, that wears the same uniform that I wear, it cuts you deep.”
Officer Crystal Sepulveda was attempting to make a stop on a reported stolen car when the driver took off.
He lost control of the car at the intersection of Corsair Road and Maywood Drive and crashed in the front yard of a home.
Chief Berezin said the suspect led officer Sepulveda on a foot chase, eventually ambushing her, and shooting her in the face and foot.
“She did all she could,” he said. “She followed the training to a tee. After she went down, she got back up. She didn’t just stay down and wait for help, she got back up and tried to complete the mission.”
She was taken to the hospital where she’s still recovering.
“She is a genuine, benevolent warrior,” Berezin said.
A mother to the community and at home.
“She’s a mom of a 4-year-old child,” he explained. “She goes out every day risking it all for something greater than herself.”
Berezin said people from around the world are reaching out to donate to her recovery and show their support.
“Everyone pitches in,” Jennifer Neilon said.
Neilon is a server at Grazia Italian Kitchen and a sergeant for the Pasadena Police Department. On Saturday, from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Grazia Italian Kitchen in Pearland will serve breakfast tacos in the parking lot for $5 each. One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to officer Sepulveda.
“I think sometimes knowing that the community is still there backing you is absolutely huge,” Neilon said. “Those little bits are what keep us going.”
Chief Berezin says the 28-year-old officer has already asked to return to duty.
“Even lying in that hospital bed she still wants to get back and start serving her community,” he said.
If you would like to donate to officer Sepulveda, click here.