Thirty-six-year-old San Antonio Police Officer Miguel Moreno died Friday morning from a gunshot wound received the day before. Moreno was shot as he got out of his car to question a reported suspicious person.
Officer Moreno and his partner, Officer Julio Cavazos, 36, were both shot by the suspect. The gunman shot Cavazos as he dragged his partner out of the line of fire, Breitbart Texas reported on Thursday.
The San Antonio Police Department posted on Facebook, “It is with heavy hearts that we share that our brother, Officer Miguel I. Moreno, #1603, succumbed to his injuries and passed away at 1111 hrs. Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
“We (lost) a truly, truly beautiful man, Officer Moreno,” Police Chief William McManus told reporters in a press briefing streamed live on Facebook. “I’m at a loss for words to describe what kind of a tragedy this is. Two police officers gunned down for no reason.”
Moreno and Cavazos attempted to approach two suspects who were near a car that appeared to have been broken into, the San Antonio Express-News reported Friday morning. As Moreno stepped out of his patrol car, one of the suspects pulled a gun from his waist and shot Moreno in the face. Cavazos returned fire and shot the suspect in the buttocks as he attempted to flee.
The shooter ran around the corner, KSAT reported. Officers quickly found him on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head. It has not been determined if that shot was fired by officers or was self-inflicted. The suspect died after being transported to University Hospital.
The second suspect is in custody and is reportedly cooperating with detectives.
Cavazos sustained a wound to his chin and the bullet traveled into his lung. Doctors completed a successful surgery and he is expected have a lengthy recovery.
Fox29 reported Chief McManus saying, “Imagine one of your relatives shot on the street for no reason.”
“Those officers were out there, and they were working, and they were working hard,” the chief stated. “All they were going to do is contact these two individuals, contact them to get their identification in the event that anything did happen there. They had a suspect and things went bad real quick.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered Texas flags in the city of San Antonio to be lowered to half-staff in memory of Officer Moreno.
“This is a sad day for the San Antonio community, and the entire state of Texas, as we mourn the death of Officer Miguel Moreno,” Governor Abbott said in a written statement. “This senseless act of violence against two courageous and committed law enforcement officers demonstrates the risk our men and women in blue face every day. We owe Officer Moreno and Officer Julio Cavazos a great debt of gratitude for their service and bravery in the face of danger. Cecilia and I offer our thoughts and prayers to the family of Officer Moreno, the San Antonio Police Department, and all those effected by this terrible crime.”
Moreno became the 65th officer to die in the line of duty this year. He is the 24 to die from being shot by a suspect, according to the Officer Down Memoria Page.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with a statement from Gov. Abbott.