Two Texas police officers were shot to death in an ambush when they got a call for domestic violence, according to their boss.
McAllen officers Edelmiro Garza, 45, and Ismael Chavez, 39, “never had a chance” when the gunman opened fire in the southern Texas border city on Saturday, Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said.
Gunman Audon Ignacio Camarillo, 23, initially hid behind a car when other officers arrived, shooting and killing himself before he could be arrested, the chief said.
Colleagues of the murdered police officers had no idea of the death of the two officers until they arrived and found their bodies, Rodríguez said.
“We have lost two brave public servants who were only seeking to maintain peace in our city,” Rodriguez, visibly distressed, told The (McAllen) Monitor.
“They were doing their job. That’s what they were supposed to do, “he said.
“Officers never had a chance to suspect a deadly attack on them, much less death.”
Details of the domestic disturbance call to which Garza and Chávez, veterans forcibly for eight and two years respectively, responded, were not immediately known.
Camarillo had some clashes with police from 2016 until his most recent arrest last month on assault charges, according to public records.
Police in several cities in Hidalgo County met Saturday night at McAllen Medical to honor Garza and Chávez. More than 50 police cars were part of a procession that accompanied the bodies of the officers, who were taken to the pathology of Hidalgo County for an autopsy.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who spoke with Rodríguez, offered the full support of the state and expressed his support through social media.
“Two of our best were killed in the line of duty while working to protect the residents of their community,” Abbott wrote on Twitter. “We join #BackTheBlue.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted that his office will provide the McAllen Police Department with all necessary assistance.
“Our prayers and full support go out to the brave men and women of the #CityofMcAllen PD tonight,” wrote Paxton. “We are thankful for the police in McAllen and in this great state.”
Representative Vicente González de McAllen said in a statement that receiving news of the death of the two agents was “devastating.”
“This is devastating news for our community. My heart breaks for these fallen officers and their families, ”said González. “They served McAllen bravely and honorably and I will keep them in my prayers.”