Fallen Tacoma officer’s fiance: 'He was scared he was going to die'
TACOMA, Wash. -- Rebecca Humphrey’s life has been a blur since her fiancé, Tacoma Police Officer Jake Gutierrez, was shot and killed in the line of duty.
Humphrey opened up Wednesday in her first interview since she lost the love of her life.
“I don’t feel like I’ve gotten the chance to breath,” Humphrey said. “It’s been a ride. A lot of ups and downs.”
Humphrey and Gutierrez fell in love five years ago. She often worried about the risk in his service with the Tacoma Police Department, but she found comfort in a thin blue bracelet Gutierrez gave her right after they met.
“He said, ‘Whenever you have this on, I’ll always be safe. Just know that I’m with you,’ ” she said. Humphrey has kept the bracelet tight since the day she lost him.
She says something changed in the days and weeks before Gutierrez's death. She says he felt an odd energy, and repeatedly told her that he feared he might die soon. He wasn’t sure what their fate would be, but he worried for the future.
“You never want to believe that,” she said. She mostly brushed it off. Now she can’t help thinking about it.
Today, the Gutierrez family remembers the fallen officer as a ferocious protector who cared deeply for his work and his loved ones.
“He was my hero before he was anyone else’s hero,” his sister Antoinette Gutierrez said. “It’s just really hard because I know he’s not coming back.”
The family has been blown away by the community’s support during this tough time. They have a long road ahead, but the memories keep them going.
Humphrey harbors no hate for the man who killed her fiance. She feels sad for his wife and children.
“I don’t know what they are going through, but it cannot be good,” she said.
Humphrey plans to change her last name to Gutierrez to honor her fiance.