Remembering Selma Police Officer Gonzalo Carrasco 1 year after his death

Margot Kim Image
Tuesday, January 30, 2024
Remembering Selma Police Officer Gonzalo Carrasco 1 year after his death
A somber anniversary will be remembered across Central California on Wednesday.

SELMA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A somber anniversary will be remembered across Central California on Wednesday.

The day will mark one year since Selma Police Officer Gonzalo Carrasco Jr. was killed in the line of duty.

While the Valley honors a hero, a Dinuba police officer and the baby boy who bears part of his father's name will pay tribute to the man behind the badge.

Maximus Gonzalo Carrasco is moments away from becoming a walking and talking toddler.

He'll turn one year old next month.

RELATED: Memorial to be dedicated to Selma officer 1 year after death

He's grown so fast in the months after Action News first met him.

The time has also seemed like an eternity to his mom, Karla Alvarez.

"This last year has been one of the hardest if not the hardest year, just coping with everything and getting back to 'normal' it's not, it's not easy," Alvarez explained.

Part of that new normal was returning to work after maternity leave.

Not only did she miss being with the baby, but she had to bravely face putting on her own uniform as a Dinuba Police officer.

"I went into my patrol car, went into a parking lot in one of the churches here, parked it, and just cried," Karla said.

Karla's vision of raising Max with his father was shattered on January 31st, 2023, when the 24-year-old was shot and killed.

Gonzalo's death was the first line-of-duty death in the history of the Selma Police Department.

Max was born just weeks after the senseless shooting.

RELATED: Fallen Selma Police Officer Gonzalo Carrasco's legacy lives on through son he never met

Every time Max reaches a milestone, it's a bittersweet moment.

I don't have Gonzalo here to celebrate our son's first birthday, so it's hard," said Karla.

"Literally an everyday thing. I see him, and any little thing reminds me of him, of Gonzalo. I think, 'I wish his dad was here to see this.'"

Karla believes Gonzalo is watching over them, maybe even making his presence known with the playful sarcasm they shared because Max's first word wasn't mama.

"He's already said 'Dada,' and I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, boy,'" she recalled while laughing. "That's his first word so far."

Karla's family cares for Max when she's at work, and her other big helper is her son, 10-year-old Dominic, who's embraced being a big brother.

Max's resemblance to his father is undeniable.

Karla talks to their son about his father, showing him momentos that make the baby smile.

One day, when it's literally and figuratively fitting, Karla will give Max his Gonzalo's hat along with stories about what he meant to them and the sacrifice he made for the greater good.

RELATED: Mother reflects on raising son without fallen Selma Police Officer Gonzalo Carrasco

"I honestly can't wait for the day for him to truly understand who his father was," Karla explained.

Until then, Karla believes Max's guardian angel is loving his son from above.

Karla, Dominic and Baby Max will attend a memorial dedication for Gonzalo at the Selma Police Department on Wednesday.

The permanent tribute to Gonzalo in front of the department where he served was built completely from community donations.

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