Two McAllen police officers were shot dead on Saturday, Police Chief Víctor Rodríguez said.
“We have lost two brave public servants who were only seeking to maintain peace in our city,” Rodriguez said by text message Saturday.
Agents were reportedly ambushed while responding to a call near Queta Avenue and 34th Street.
According to Lt. Christopher Olivarez, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, officers were shot in that area and transported to an area hospital.
A suspect in the shooting was shot, but that person’s condition is unclear.
DPS sent soldiers to secure the scene because the McAllen Police Department requested assistance, Olivarez said, adding that his agency received a call about the incident around 4:30 p.m.
The circumstances of the shooting are also unclear.
“We only have very brief details at this time,” said Olivarez.
Police authorities and public security sources believe officers responded to a riot call when the shooting occurred.
A man who lives near the area and would only identify himself as G. López said he was working in his yard when he saw officers arrive around 4 p.m.
Soon after, López said he heard five or six shots.
“I have a couple of weapons; That was not fireworks, “he said.
According to López, the additional police arrived 10 or 15 minutes later.
“After that, everyone showed up and then I heard a shot,” he said. “When I heard that shot, everyone was swarming.”
Lopez said before the shooting that it was a quiet day in the neighborhood.
Police are expected to release more details of the shooting scene tonight.
Their deaths occurred nearly a year after two other Rio Grande Valley law enforcement officers lost their lives for their work in the line of duty.
Cpl. José Luis Espericueta, of the Mission Police Department, was shot dead on June 20, 2019, while responding to reports from an armed man.
DPS soldier Moisés Sánchez died in August 2019 after undergoing surgery for injuries sustained in a shooting on April 6 of that year, in which Sánchez responded to a car accident in Edinburg.
In a statement, US Representative Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from McAllen, called the news of Saturday’s two deaths “devastating.”
“This is devastating news for our community. My heart breaks for these fallen officers and their families, ”González said in the statement. “They served McAllen bravely and honorably and I will keep them in my prayers.”
Our prayers and full support go out to the brave men and women of the #CityofMcAllen PD this afternoon.
This office will provide any assistance requested in the coming days. We are thankful for the police in McAllen and in this great state.
– Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) July 11, 2020
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted that your office will provide the McAllen Police Department with any assistance necessary.
“Our prayers and full support go out to the brave men and women of the #CityofMcAllen PD tonight,” the tweet read. “We are grateful for the police in McAllen and in this great state.”
This is a developing story.