SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The San Antonio Police Department has confirmed the death of one of two officers shot while in the line of duty Thursday.
Officer Miguel I. Moreno passed away at 11:11 a.m. Thursday at the San Antonio Military Medical Center, officials said. Officer Julio Cavazos went into surgery Thursday morning, but is expected to survive his injuries.
Moreno and Cavazos were on street crime patrol when they noticed a suspicious person in a car and decided to approach him. When the officers went up to the vehicle, the suspect pulled out a gun and fired at the officers. One of the officers was hit in the head and face while the other was shot in the torso, investigators said.
When responding officers arrived at the shooting, there was an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and police, officers said. The suspect was shot one time in the buttocks by Cavazos.
"Two great officers gunned down for no reason," Police Chief William McManus said.
Moreno and Cavazos both have nine-years experience on the force.
"Imagine one of your relatives, shot and killed on the street for apparently no reason," McManus said. "When you have 2,400 police officers [and] that can happen to them at any moment, at any point in the day; It kind of slams you in the head with what what a [dedicated] job these officers do."
McManus said police also apprehended an unarmed second man, who was initially believed to be a suspect, but he has since been released. After cooperating with investigators, police now consider the second man a witness to the shooting. McManus said the suspect and witness are acquaintances.
"We don't believe the second suspect had any role in the shooting deaths of the two officers," McManus said.
Police believe the suspect came to San Antonio from Louisiana.
McManus said when the officers approached the suspects there were no signs the men were armed. The chief said the officers approached the suspect simply to get contact and identification, which is routine practice during street patrol.
"You don't know when the 1,000th time will go bad," McManus said.
He said in matter of seconds, and without warning, McManus said a gun was pulled and shots were fired by the suspect.
McManus added, "There's no lesson to be learned, but a reminder of how dangerous the job could be."
During the briefing, McManus also addressed, what he called false, reports about the neighborhood being a factor in the shooting. Some suggested that the shooting happened in a dangerous part of town.
"That horrible incident could've happened anywhere in the city," the chief said. "It just so happened to be over there. The patrons and neighbors feel safe in that area. We don't see anything on the crime maps that would indicate otherwise."
Attorney General Ken Paxton released a statement asking everyone to pray for the officers' families.
“I am asking all Texans to join me in praying for the wounded San Antonio police officers. My office is willing and ready to assist in the ongoing investigation in any way necessary. Our law enforcement officers are true Texas heroes and deserve our prayers and support now and always,” Paxton said.