MCALLEN, TX – The City of McAllen announced Sunday that a memorial has been set up near police headquarters to commemorate the lives of the two police officers killed in the line of duty Saturday.
As our community grieves for the two brave men who made the ultimate sacrifice , a memorial has been set up at the McAllen Police Department for mourners to drop off flowers or small keepsakes to keep their memories alive. 💙🖤💙#McAllenStrong #OfcGarza #OfcChavez pic.twitter.com/jezWo5P6aH— City of McAllen, TX (@CityofMcAllen) July 12, 2020
Officers Edelmiro Garza and Ismael Chavez were killed during a domestic disturbance call at about 3:00 p.m. in South McAllen near Los Encinos Park, officials said.
According to McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez, the two “never had a chance,” as the suspect, Audon Ignacio Camarillo, 23, fired at the officers from inside his home.
Officers performing a “roll by” spotted the downed officers and approached the suspect, ordering him to put down his weapon, police said. Camarillo later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Mayor of McAllen Jim Darling, along with other leaders, expressed their condolences to the families involved in the incident.
It’s with a heavy heart I share the terrible news that today we lost two of our brave McAllen Police Officers. My deepest condolences and sympathies go out the families of Officer Edelmiro Garza and Ismael Chavez. I ask for prayers for their loved ones during this difficult time.— Jim Darling (@mayordarling) July 12, 2020
As news of the deaths of Garza and Chavez spread, community members also took to social media to offer their condolences.
Weslaco Independent School District tweeted about Chavez, who taught science and coached football for nine years at Weslaco East High School.
The WISD family is mourning the loss of former WEHS science teacher & football coach Ismael Chavez. He was employed by WISD, for approximately 9 yrs. Today Chavez & Officer Edelmiro Garza were tragically killed in the line of duty.Our deepest condolences go out to their families. pic.twitter.com/6QjqkfpeYo— Weslaco ISD (@WeslacoISD) July 12, 2020
Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez also posted about the two officers, saying the two left an “indelible mark on the community” they served.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott granted permission to fly the US and Texas flags at half-staff in honor of the life and public service of McAllen Officer Police Officer Edelmiro Garza, Jr. and Officer Ismael Chavez, Jr. They were killed in the line of duty on Sat, July 11, 2020. pic.twitter.com/0uSHqZ0cIk— Hidalgo County (@HidalgoCounty) July 12, 2020
Additionally, Cortez ordered that all county buildings lower flags to half-staff in tribute to Garza and Chavez.
Governor Greg Abbott spoke about the killings of the McAllen police officers, saying he spoke to Rodriguez and offered the full support of the state of Texas in the wake of the tragedy.
Two of our finest were killed in the line of duty while working to protect residents in their community.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 11, 2020
I've spoken with McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez and offered the full support of the State of Texas.
We unite to #BackTheBlue.#RGVhttps://t.co/lm5DWQJSVC
The city wrote in a social media post on multiple accounts that they are encouraging mourners to drop off flowers or small keepsakes to keep the officers’ memories alive.