SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KXAN) — The San Antonio police officer who suffered a gunshot wound to the head has died.
Just hours before Officer Miguel Moreno’s death, San Antonio Chief of Police William McManus said doctors indicated Moreno would not survive his injuries. Moreno and Officer Julio Cavazos, both 9-year veterans with the department, were shot while conducting directed patrol Thursday afternoon in an area just north of downtown.
McManus says the two officers were assigned to the area to investigate vehicle burglaries, but they weren’t responsible for answering any dispatch calls. Police say while they were patrolling, they came across a vehicle that might have been broken into and they stopped two individuals to question them.
“As soon as they stopped them, Officer Moreno got out of the car and one suspect walked towards the police car and the other suspect immediately opened fire,” explains McManus. “Officer Moreno went down immediately–having been struck in the head.”
Cavazos, who had also been shot, still managed to pull Officer Moreno out of the line of fire. But McManus says the suspect continued to fire.
“Officer Cavazos, even in the condition he was in, returned fire and struck him in the buttocks,” says McManus. The suspect tried to run away but he died after being shot, police say.
Both officers, who are in their 30s, were rushed to the hospital. Cavazos underwent one surgery but more surgeries are expected; he is expected to survive. Unfortunately, Moreno’s was bleak as of early Friday morning.
“We’re going to lose a truly, truly beautiful man in Officer Moreno–great cop,” says McManus. “Two great police officers gunned down for no reason other than they wanted to talk to this individual.”
The department says Moreno passed away just after 11 a.m. Friday.
McManus believes in this situation, everything his officers did was “tactically sound.” He says there was no indication that either suspects—who police believe did not really know each other—were armed.
“I think the lesson learned in some cases, is that there is no lesson to be learned, except the reminder of how dangerous the job could be. There was nothing tactically wrong with the officers’ approach, the two indivudals were not wanted for anything.”
Authorities are still waiting an autopsy by the Medical Examiner’s Office to determined the deceased suspect’s identification. The second suspect, police say, did not appear to have any role in the shootout.