published : 2023-10-19

Texas Police Officer Fatally Shot During Pursuit Along Southern Border

San Benito Police Department Mourns the Loss of 30-Year Law Enforcement Veteran

San Benito Police Department mourning the loss of Lt. Milton Resendez, a 30-year law enforcement veteran. (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

A San Benito, Texas, police officer was tragically killed while pursuing two men who fled a traffic stop along the southern border of the state.

Lt. Milton Resendez, a 30-year veteran of the San Benito Police Department, was struck by a bullet that pierced through the door of his patrol car and struck him in the abdomen.

Despite wearing body armor, the bullet managed to bypass the protective gear, causing fatal injuries.

Resendez was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, leaving behind a grieving community and a department that held him in high regard.

Chief Mario Perea described Resendez as a dedicated officer who cared deeply for others and had a good rapport with everyone.

The pursuit began when law enforcement officials stopped a truck carrying two men, two women, and two small children for speeding on the beach in South Padre Island.

Scene of the traffic stop where the two suspects fled, sparking a high-speed pursuit along the southern border. (Taken with Nikon D850)

As the officer questioned the driver, a passenger started the truck and the driver jumped into the bed before fleeing at high speed.

During the chase, the two women and children managed to exit the vehicle and were detained for questioning.

The pursuit continued through several cities along the border before gunfire erupted between the two suspects and the police in Brownsville.

Eventually, the truck was found disabled, leading to a second pursuit in an SUV that finally ended in San Benito, where Resendez was shot.

The suspects, identified as 18-year-old Rogelio Martinez Jr. from Brownsville and 23-year-old Rodrigo Axel Espinosa Valdez from Mexico, were arrested after attempting to flee on foot.

They now face charges including capital murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and evading arrest.

Law enforcement officers arresting the suspects involved in the fatal shooting of Lt. Resendez. (Taken with Sony Alpha a7 III)

While it remains unclear if Valdez was in the U.S. illegally, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has yet to respond to inquiries.

The tragic killing of a Texas police officer has reignited concerns about border-related violence and the ongoing risks faced by law enforcement officers.

Former Rep. Mayra Nohemi Flores expressed her outrage at the killing, emphasizing the threat that border violence poses to American lives.

Governor Greg Abbott also expressed his condolences, acknowledging the profound loss suffered by Resendez's family and loved ones.

An investigation into the incident is currently being conducted by the Texas Rangers.

This tragic event serves as a painful reminder of the risks faced by law enforcement professionals in their unwavering commitment to public safety.