NOGALES, AZ (KOLD News 13) - One year ago, on April 27, 2018, Nogales Police Officer Jesus Cordova was shot and killed.
His wife, Alyssa, recalls that morning, before he left for work.
“It was just a different day. I made him breakfast. I ironed his uniform, something that I rarely did anymore...He scratched my back. It was very affectionate.” she said.
These small moments, would become their last.
“He kissed my mom goodbye, he kissed my sister goodbye, my brother. He opened the door, he looked back, he smiled, he closed the door and he left," Cordova said.
This would be the last time she saw her husband.
Just a few hours later, she said she was getting calls from friends and family. She soon learned her husband had been shot.
Cordova said she arrived at a crowded Holy Cross Hospital with very little information as to what exactly happened.
"I'm here to see my husband, can somebody tell me what's going on?"
She then learned her husband did not survive.
“It was even hard to breathe. I remember it was just awful, awful, awful," she said. "I told my mother-in-law because she doesn’t speak English, and just like the shriek. I can still hear it.”
As his family processed the news, so did his brothers and sisters in uniform.
“It’s a blur sometimes. It’s a blur. It’s a system overload of a tragic scene that I saw,” said Nogales Police Chief Roy Bermudez.
Bermudez was out of town when he heard the news. He said the three and a half hour drive back to town was the longest drive of his life.
“You go into a sense of denial. You say even if he was shot, he’s going to be OK,” he said.
He said that sense of denial was shattered as he stood in front of reporters that night.
“I walked into the council chambers and it was packed and that was the time I said it really did happen,” Bermudez said.
A year later, both Chief Bermudez and Cordova are on the same mission.
They’re learning to move forward while keeping Officer Cordova’s memory alive.
“I think it only revived the spirit, as far as to why get into this profession. Why we do what we do. And I think we do it in Officer Cordova’s name,” Bermudez said.
Cordova now travels with her four kids and her family, to attend or speak at events honoring her husband and other fallen officers.
“I make it a point to be everywhere where he’s going to be honored. Because I’m his face. These kids are his face,” Cordova said.
When she’s not on the road, her hands are full with their 9, 3, and 2-year-olds , and 8-month-old Jesus, who was named after his father.
Thought the two never had a chance to meet, Jesus will grow up in a family and a community that understands the hero his father was.
Cordova says the last year has been filled with heartbreak.
However, she says the love from family, from strangers, from the law enforcement community, and from her husband is what has kept her going.
“I think of that and I figure it out everyday. As hard as it is, we figure it out somehow or another," Cordova said. "It was his promise that he was going to take care of me and he has.”
To find out more on the events being held this weekend, click HERE.