HOUSTON - Houston police officer Jerry Flores is in a coma and in critical condition after an accident Thursday at a golf course.
Organizers of the event at the golf course said that Flores, 53, was at the Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club golf tournament, which helps injured officers and military members, when he fell off a golf cart and hit his head on the pavement. Flores was knocked unconscious.
Flores was taken to Cy-Fair Medical Center where he underwent surgery. Doctors said the next few days are critical to Flores' recovery.
"Everybody knows Jerry, not only in the department, but outside the department. Jerry was probably more known that Art Acevedo when he got here," close friend and HPD colleague Doug Griffith said.
The 26-year vet has worked in different departments and is currently serving in the gang division. He is also active in the community.
"The family is holding up strong. His brother and sister are by his side. They're hoping for a good prognosis, but it's going to be a while before they know anything," Griffith said.
Houston police chief Art Acevedo called Flores a "great member of our team" in a video he posted to Twitter.
Please spread this message far & wide. Senior Police OfficerJerry Flores & his family need your prayers. Together we can make a difference. pic.twitter.com/SSLjdcn6lx — Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) April 13, 2018
Houston Police Officers’ Union President Joe Gamaldi called Flores a pillar in the community.
"This is a big tragedy right now and everybody’s just hoping and praying he’s gonna pull out of this," Gamaldi said. "He’s an all around great guy. The type of guy who would give the shirt of his back to you. I think Officer Flores is probably the most popular police officer we have. He’s very well-known in the community and the outpouring of support has been absolutely incredible."
Flores also serves as HPD’s liaison for the Houston Astros.
His friends said he was always showing up to support others to show support for accomplishments, major milestones and even grieving processes.
"He's a good friend. I want to say he's a friend of the family just as much. He's met my dad. He was at my mom's funeral. My dog got stolen -- he came to help me find him. He's just a good person all around," Judy Maldonado said.
Maldonado was at the golf course and saw him minutes before it happened.
"I'd been there all day. I'd played as well. I saw him for a few minutes and then said bye and later on I heard what happened," Maldonado said.
The Thin Blue Line Club president Rico Garcia sent the following statement:
"As you know, Jerry is one of the most popular Officers in the Houston Police Department. We call him the Mayor of Midtown because of his popularity. Not only does he show up and support all of our events, he goes above and beyond for the citizens of this great city. We are all praying for his speedy recovery."
The HPOU is holding a blood drive in his honor.
BLOOD DRIVE IN HONOR OF OFFICER JERRY FLORES
1400 LaConcha Lane
Houston, TX 77054
MUST GIVE sponsor code 3660 in order for the donation to be valid.
Monday thru Thursday 10am-6pm Please Retweet — HPOU (@HPOUTX) April 13, 2018
Rep. Carol Alvarado took to social media and urged everyone to pray for Flores.
“My heart is heavy tonight y’all. Our dear friend Jerry Flores is in need of our prayers, he was in an accident. Please say a prayer and send positive energy to he and his family. We love you Jerry!”
Many others poured out their support for Flores on social media.
"I've put posts on Facebook. Everybody else has put posts on Facebook. Everybody's worried about him and just praying he's going to come through," Maldonado said.
Asking everyone in the Houston community to please pray for Officer Jerry Flores. He is out of surgery and still in critical condition. Blood drive information will be available in the coming days. — Joe Gamaldi (@JoeGamaldi) April 13, 2018
Asking for everyone to please pray for Jerry Flores. He just got out of surgery and is in critical condition after an off duty accident where he sustained a skull fracture.
Jerry is the reason I became a cop 👮🏽♀️ 💙 praying for you brother ! — JG Abad (@jg_abad) April 13, 2018
Praying for my dear friend Jerry Flores. 🙏💙 — Sylvia Huerta (@SylviaHuerta10) April 13, 2018
Our prayers continue to go out to @houstonpolice officer Jerry Flores who remains in critical condition this morning after suffering a head injury while attending a fundraiser last night pic.twitter.com/poXZHar2uu — ATF Houston (@ATFHou) April 13, 2018
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