SELMA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The baby son of late Selma Police Officer Gonzalo Carrasco Junior and Dinuba Police Officer Karla Alvarez already reflects the personalities of both his parents.
Two-month-old Maximus Gonzalo Carrasco didn't meet his father before his dad was killed in the line of duty but he'll grow up learning about the brave hero he was named after.
When Karla and Gonzalo first met, it wasn't love at first sight.
Their families were neighbors and the two were friends long before they would each follow a path into law enforcement and eventually start dating in 2020.
It's their friendship Karla misses the most.
"That's what hits me more. We're just really good friends even if it wasn't relationship-wise there were times when he'd be like, 'Hey let's just talk because I need somebody to talk to,'" explained Karla.
"We were each other's kind of like, safe space for a while."
That safe space was shattered on the morning of January 31st when she began answering worried calls from family, friends, and fellow officers about an officer, involved in a shooting in Selma.
Karla stayed calm, thinking Gonzalo was only wounded as she rushed to the hospital.
"In my head, I'm not going to lie, knowing how he is, and knowing my attitude, he's going to be laughing about it and 'oh cool, I got shot at' and this and that. So, like, I'm already in my head that I'm going to be so mad because he's going to think it's so funny and we're about to have a baby in two weeks," explained Karla.
But then the unthinkable happened when Karla learned that Gonzalo had passed away.
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"It was such a blur, that whole day. And everything happened so fast," recalled Karla. "I was still thinking like, this isn't true."
While everyone around her was grieving, she had to control her emotions to avoid stressing the baby who was due any moment.
"So, when this happened, I was 9 months pregnant and everybody's like 'you have to be okay because you're pregnant and baby feels it,'" said Karla. "I'm not complaining but okay, I have to be okay. Then after I gave birth, you have to be okay for the baby.
"So, when do I get to feel my emotions? When do I get to feel what I want to feel? Not being selfish but anyone else can go in the room and cry and yell and everything. But I have to be okay. I'm not complaining and obviously, I love my baby but I have to be okay for the baby. It's like, when do I get to the point where I can be myself and be in my feelings and feel my feelings and it's hard, it's been hard," she added.
It was even earlier than two months old when the resemblance was clear.
Momentos of his father are proudly displayed in the home, including Gonzalo's favorite hat that Karla gave him.
One day, she will give it to their son.
Karla will also pass down her personal stories of the young man who was looking forward to their future as a family before it was tragically taken.
"Everybody's going to tell him about his dad, the cop, dad the hero. But I think I'm going to tell him more about Gonzalo, his dad. The person that I knew," Karla explained.
"It's crazy how life works and you know, he left a little piece of him, no matter what. This is the piece of him that's going to be here God willing, for a long time," she added.
Karla says, for now, she's not thinking about the charges against the accused gunman and eventual trial.
Looking into the future, she says she'll support her son in any career he chooses, including law enforcement.
She'll return to duty herself in a few weeks because despite great loss, she was sworn to serve.
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