Texas is no stranger to violence against police. Two cities, in particular, have seen a spate of police killings.
San Antonio and Dallas have been the scenes of police slayings over the last two years.
In late June, a police officer in San Antonio died of his wounds after a shootout with a man who the officer and his partner attempted to talk to about a vehicle break-in.
The officers were patrolling north of downtown San Antonio. They wanted to question two men because they were close to a vehicle that had been broken into. The men were not even considered to be suspects.
Officer Miguel Moreno was a nine-year veteran of the San Antonio police force. He was shot in the head by one of the men he tried to question. He died later. The gunman unexpectedly opened fire on Moreno and Officer Julio Cavazos, his partner.
The gunman fired on the officers as they got out of their patrol car. Cavazos also was shot but he returned fire and tried to pull Moreno out of the line of fire.
Cavazos made a recovery after surgery. The gunman was killed in the shootout.
The latest fatal shooting of a police officer came as Texas enacts a law that will make violence against police officers a hate crime.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said:
“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.”
The incident in June came on the heels of the killing of a San Antonio detective in November. The officer, Benjamin Marconi, a 20-year-veteran of the force was sitting in his patrol car writing a ticket when a man approached him and shot him in the head.
KXAN reported the suspect, Otis Tyrone McKane, later said he was angry about a child-custody fight and lashed out.
In July 2016, as racial tensions ran high nationally, a sniper ambushed and killed five police officers at a Black Rights Matter march in Dallas.
Micah Johnson was a military veteran of conflicts in Afghanistan. The killings provided the impetus for Abbott to call for new legislation.
If you have been accused of a crime against a police officer, you are likely to be facing a very serious sentence. You should contact an experienced Austin criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.