LAREDO, Texas – Officers responding to a disturbance call early Tuesday in South Texas were “basically ambushed” by a man with a semi-automatic rifle who shot and injured one officer and two other people, the police chief said.
Cesar Terrazas, 22, was arrested after authorities in Laredo near the Mexico border said he fired dozens of rounds at officers responding before 6 a.m., and then broke into a home where he continued shooting. Terrazas faces a series of felony charges including attempted capital murder, aggravated assault and burglary.
“Our officers were basically ambushed,” Police Chief Claudio Treviño Jr. said at an afternoon news conference. “This individual was ready to face them and ready to murder them.”
A 33-year-old officer was hit in the leg, and a 21-year-old man and 53-year-old woman were shot inside the home, Treviño said. The seven-year police veteran was released from a hospital, and the other two victims were in stable condition.
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Investigator Joe Baeza described the chaotic early-morning shootout in the border city of more than 261,000 people about 150 miles southwest of San Antonio. More than 70 rounds were fired, and Terrazas repeatedly reloaded his AR-style rifle, he said.
“It was pitch dark, midnight dark, and the officers start hearing fire coming at them and didn’t know where it was coming from,” Baeza said.
After opening fire on the officers on the city’s north side, Terrazas made his way into a nearby home and continued shooting before being eventually arrested without injury, Baeza said.
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It is unclear what led Terrazas to allegedly open fire on police. Baeza said investigators are still piecing together the crime scene but that Terrazas seems to have been motivated by “a bad break up that escalated to this point.” Police declined to identify the two people who were shot inside the home, saying they are being treated as victims of domestic violence.
Terrazas has no previous criminal record, Baeza said.