BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Authorities identified a Cuban immigrant with a long arrest history as the man who violently shanked a corrections officer in the neck. The man then stole the guard’s weapons, murdered an innocent man, and engaged police in a short but fierce gun battle that led to his death.
As Breitbart Texas reported, 38-year-old Miguel Diaz Garcia, escaped from authorities by using a makeshift shank to stab a Cameron County Sheriff’s detention officer in the neck during a doctor’s visit. The inmate swam through a man-made lake to a nearby home and murdered the homeowner in order to steal his vehicle. The rampage ended in a deadly shootout with law enforcement in the nearby city of San Benito.
Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez revealed that Diaz Garcia is not a stranger to law enforcement. He has a long criminal history that included multiple violent offenses including aggravated assault and terroristic threats. According to Cameron County jail records, Diaz had spent close to 500 days in custody in connection with an arrest on home burglary charges from a Brownsville case. Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio revealed to Breitbart Texas that Diaz Garcia is a Cuban immigrant who also had an immigration detainer from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
Prior to his escape, Diaz created a makeshift knife by using a toothbrush and attaching a disposable razor blade to the tip, Lucio said. The inmate was being transported to a dental office by one guard. Sheriff’s policy calls for two guards to escort an inmate, but an apparent shortage of staff led to the decision to move the inmate with only one guard.
“We still don’t know how but he was able to remove his restraints and when the guard opened the door, he charged at him using the shank to help overpower him,” Lucio said.
Weighing approximately 240 pounds and standing at more than 6 feet tall, Diaz’s size was a factor that helped him during the attack on the detention officer, said Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez. After severely injuring the guard, Diaz stole the lawman’s duty belt and his service issued Glock 22, .40 caliber handgun.
The man jumped into a nearby manmade lake and swam across to a nearby home. There, the man demanded the keys to a small sedan, The owner tried to calm down the agitated fugitive. Rather than listen, Diaz opened fire, fatally shooting the 56-year-old Mario Martinez in front of his family.
After the shooting, Diaz drove off in the family’s vehicle until authorities spotted him. A high-speed chase ensued ending in the nearby city of San Benito. Diaz reportedly fired multiple rounds at authorities who returned fire, fatally wounding the escaped criminal.
“He was on a rampage, thankfully there are men and women in uniform who are willing to run into danger and this matter was ended without further loss of life. ” Rodriguez said. “Our condolences go to the Martinez family, we are going to do everything we can to help them.”
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.