TACOMA, Wash. — The tears came easily for Gabriella Cothran as she talked about Tacoma police Officer Jake Gutierrez.
"He made my life complete," she said, wiping an eye. "He made me feel like I was on top of the world."
She remembered the father who loved to hug his three daughters.
Reginald "Jake" Gutierrez, 45, had been a Tacoma police officer for 17 years when he was shot and killed, responding to a domestic violence call.
Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell says Gutierrez died as he lived, handling a difficult situation.
"Jake will be remembered as a hero and he will never be forgotten for his ultimate sacrifice," Chief Ramsdell said.
A sacrifice of which, his sister says, he was fully aware.
"He accepted that and I supported it," said Antoinette Gutierrez. "I hope everyone knows that Jake is smiling down on us all right now."
For the woman he loved and planned to marry, the loss is especially acute.
"I will open my own doors, remove my own shoes," said Rebecca Humphrey, Gutierrez's fiancee. "I will tuck myself in. But I will miss his kiss goodnight."
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