Two police officers were fatally shot by a man who later killed himself after they responded to a domestic disturbance call in McAllen, Texas, authorities said.
Chief Victor Rodriguez of the McAllen Police Department identified the officers as Edelmiro Garza, 45, and Ismael Chavez, 39.
“These are entirely very difficult, difficult moments,” Rodriguez said at a news conference. “The officers came here to maintain peace. Instead, they were taken down by gunfire. The next few days for us moving forward as well will be very difficult for ourselves at the department, at the city of McAllen, but our strength will get us through.”
Garza and Chavez met around 3:30 p.m. Saturday with two people who reported “a disturbance, maybe some assaults” that had taken place at the house where the officers were later shot, Rodriguez said.
The officers then went to the house, where a man whom authorities later identified as Audon Ignacio Camarillo opened the door and shot them, Rodriguez said. The officers did not draw their weapons, he continued.
“The officers never had a chance to suspect deadly assault on them, much less death in that moment in time,” Rodriguez said.
Camarillo then left the house and, as other responding officers approached, fatally shot himself, Rodriguez said.
Garza had been with the McAllen Police Department for more than eight years, while Chavez had served for about 2½ years, the chief said.
According to jail records, Camarillo had a few run-ins with authorities since 2016, including charges of fleeing from police, marijuana possession, and assault.
Rodriguez said he received a call from Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, who he said expressed “his thoughts and prayers for all of us.” Ken Paxton, the state’s attorney general, said on Twitter that his office would extend “any assistance requested” to the McAllen Police Department. Mayor Jim Darling of McAllen also offered his condolences.
“We unite to #BacktheBlue,” Abbott said on Twitter.
Representative Vicente Gonzalez, Democrat of Texas, said in a statement that the shooting was “devastating news for our community.”
“My heart breaks for these fallen officers and their families,” he said. “They served McAllen bravely and honorably, and I will keep them in my prayers.”