Shootout in South Texas leaves 2 police officers injured

A Hidalgo County Sheriff points a rifle from the top of an armored vehicle Tuesday during a standoff with a capitol murder suspect in La Joya, Texas on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Officials said the suspect was later presumed dead after a final assault on the house. (AP Photo/The Monitor, Nathan Lambrecht)

LA JOYA, Texas (AP) — A man suspected of shooting two South Texas police officers during a standoff was found dead outside a home after officers raided the house Tuesday night in which he had barricaded himself, authorities said.

The 29-year-old capital murder suspect had been spraying bullets toward officers outside the house in the Rio Grande Valley town of La Joya. The man was silenced Tuesday evening after officers rammed the front door, inserted tear gas and exchanged fire, Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said.

Hidalgo County sheriff’s Commander Joel Rivera said Wednesday that officers found the body of Joaquin Cibrian after determining it was safe to approach the home. In the aftermath of the hours-long standoff Tuesday evening, authorities said only that the gunman was “presumed dead.”

The ordeal began about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday when La Joya police advised police in nearby Edinburg of the sighting of a vehicle matching the description of one related to the killing of 19-year-old Mexican national, Edinburg Police Chief Rolando Castaneda said. The 19-year-old was found shot in the back of the head behind a vacant home in Edinburg last weekend.

Edinburg police responded, along with other agencies that were tracking the vehicle to a La Joya home.

“As our officers were getting out of the car, the suspect … opened up on our officers,” Castaneda said. “One of my officers was shot in the arm. The other officer was shot in both legs and possibly a third time. He’s in surgery right now. They’re all doing fine.

“Arriving officers were able to rescue the two officers, throw them in their patrol car while under gunfire the whole time,” Castaneda said. “Those officers were heroes.”

Armored vehicles were brought in to extract responding officers who were pinned behind their cars by gunfire, said Guerra.

Negotiators were immediately called in and made contact with the suspect, whom Guerra identified only as the capital murder suspect. The man told the negotiators he was ready to surrender.

“However, as he opened the door, he immediately engaged our personnel that were waiting for him to make the arrest,” Guerra said.

“He was contacted again, and he made arrangements to surrender again,” Guerra said. “At that point, again, he engaged our officers with multiple shots. … We decided that he was not going to give up, so we deployed an armored vehicle and rammed the front door and injected tear gas. At that point he came out firing.”

Officers returned fire, and the suspect was presumed dead, Guerra said. The bomb squad was checking the scene late Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s