CAMERON, Texas — On Friday, May 12, first responders, police departments, family and friends all gathered outside of the Cameron Police Department to honor Sgt. Joshua Clouse who was killed in the line of duty.
"His positivity, his work ethic, how he treated everybody around him," Clouse's army brother, Ivan Stephens said. "He was made for the job, he was made to be a police officer."
The 39-year-old was killed while responding to a domestic dispute the night of May 10.
According to police, that night at about 10:55 p.m., officers responded to the 700 block of North Travis Avenue to the report of a gunshot victim.
Police say the victim claimed they were shot in the back of the neck by their spouse, who police have identified as 29-year-old Albert Rafael Acosta.
According to police, officers requested a search warrant for a home in the 500 block of East 7th Street. Cameron PD, Milam County Sheriff's Office, Rockdale PD and Texas DPS attempted to serve the warrant.
During this time, police say Acosta opened fire on police and police then returned fire, killing Acosta.
According to police, during the gunfight Clouse was wounded and taken to the nearest emergency room where he later died.
"In life you meet hundreds, thousands or millions of people," Stephens said. "You might have a decent amount of friends. you have people like him that you've been through things with that you know will always be family no matter what. I can always count on him if I needed something. It's hard losing people like that. I know that that man would have taken a bullet for me and I was taking a bullet for him."
In the small town of Cameron, people say violence against police officers is not uncommon.
"There's been a rise in violence against police officers, especially here," First Assistant District Attorney, Brian Price, said. "Deputy Sam Ferguson, he got shot in the face and stomach a little less than a year ago. We have another case that we just indicted a guy for attempted capital murder that he shot at a sheriff's deputy. It's something that unfortunately it's coming here as well, it's not just in big cities anymore. That's kind of a scary aspect."
Despite the increasing violence towards cops, Clouse made sure to keep a positive attitude while he wore his badge.
Clouse was married with two sons.
Logan Pevehouse went to school with Clouse's son and says he was like a second dad to her.
Josh was an amazing human being. I’ve know him since I was in the third grade. Me and his oldest son Jonathon Clouse played soccer together when we were little and ran cross country and track in middle school and high school together. Josh was always there not only supporting Jonathon but also supporting me as well. I’ve been going to church with them for about three to four years now and Josh has made a wonderful impact on my life. He always had the brightest smile and the warmest hugs to give me every time he saw me. Even though we aren’t blood relatives, Josh was family to me. I looked up to him in so many different ways. I don’t think he truly knew how much he meant to me and what an impact he’s made on my life. I will be forever grateful to have know him and be apart of his and his wonderful family’s lives. I miss him so much but I know he is in a better place and one day I will get to see him again. - Logan Pevehouse
Clouse's immediate family also sent out a statement.
Josh died doing what he loved by protecting and serving the community. The outpouring of love & support from our community and from across the state has touched our hearts deeply. Although our hearts are heavy now we have such peace knowing that Josh is with his Heavenly Father. He has given us the peace that passes all understanding even though we lost a true hero. We know that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength and we will overcome. In being true to Josh’s memory and the amazing man of God he was we would like to take this moment to let everyone know that if you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord & Savior please reach out to Brad Dusenberry of Harvest Bible Church in Rockdale his cell phone number will be with Cameron PD. We would also like to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Acosta. - Family of Fallen Officer Josh Clouse
While the city of Cameron continues to mourn, the city has advice for any victims of domestic violence.
"The more times that a defendant, an abuser gets away with abusing a victim, the more emboldened they become," Price said. "That's just kind of the cycle we see. It gets worse over time, you know, when somebody shows you who they are, believe them. When they first show you those signs that they're an abusive person, get out of that situation. I know it's difficult, but reach out."
The last Cameron Police Department line-of-duty death was in 1935, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The 100 Club of Central Texas has organized a survivor fund in response to the officer's death. For information on how to donate, click here.