Two on-duty Texas police officers killed in brutal gun ambush ‘never had a chance,’ Dept. chief says

A Texas border town was rocked Saturday after two police officers were fatally gunned down and the gunman later killed himself, the Associated Press reports.

“We have lost two brave public servants who sought only to keep peace in our city,” McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez told The Monitor newspaper.

The slain officers were identified as 45-year-old Edelmiro Garza, who was an eight-year veteran of the department, and 39-year-old Ismael Chavez, who had worked with the department for more than two years.

According to the report, Garza and Chavez responded to a domestic disturbance call at a home around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. When they tried to enter the residence, the suspected shooter, 23-year-old Audon Ignacio Camarillo, allegedly pulled the trigger.

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“They were doing their job. That is what they were supposed to do. The person was a suspect of the incident, met our officers at the door, and shot at both officers,” Rodriguez told the Associated Press.

“Both officers suffered fatal wounds, they have both passed away as a result. The officers never had a chance to suspect deadly assault on them, much less death.”

Camarillo hid behind a vehicle when other officers responded and then shot and killed himself.

Records show Camarillo was arrested in June on assault charges. His rap sheet dates back to 2016.

Rodriguez said the coming days would be difficult for the department and community.

“The next few days for us, moving forward as well, will be very, very difficult, for ourselves at the department and at the city of McAllen, but our strength will get us through,” Rodriguez told the Associated Press.

“We gather our strength from our police officers, and we gather our strengths from our colleagues, as you can see here.”

At least one of the officers was a father. Chavez’s daughter posted a memorial on Twitter with photos of her and her father, according to KTRK-TV.

“[W]ords cannot describe the pain I’m in, but I’m glad my dad is at peace,” Savannah Chavez reportedly wrote in a post that appears to have been since removed. “[Y]ou were an amazing man and anyone who ever came across you knew that. I’m going to miss you so much. you died doing what you loved most, you died a hero. i love you daddy, see you soon.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that McAllen had the full support of the state.

“Two of our finest were killed in the line of duty while working to protect residents in their community,” Abbott posted on Twitter. “We unite to #BackTheBlue.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety is among the agencies assisting in the investigation in McAllen, which is at the southern end of Texas on the Mexican border.

Multiple law enforcement officers from surrounding cities participated in a procession accompanying the officers’ bodies on Saturday evening.

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[Feature image: Edelmiro Garza/Officer Down Memorial Page; Ismael Chavez/Twitter]