Five Texas Officers Wounded in Shootout


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TheFederalistWeasel
May 1, 2007, 09:38 PM
LAREDO, Texas-- Five Laredo Police officers were injured and a suspect killed when authorities responded to a call for shots fired Monday morning in the 1800 block of Santa Cleotilde Avenue.

An unidentified individual called police at 8:34 a.m. to report shots fired; five minutes later, a second call was placed to report the shootings.

All five officers arrived on the scene almost simultaneously, and "when officers arrived, they were met with gunfire," said Laredo Police Chief Agustin Dovalina III.

The officers returned gunfire on the suspect during the confrontation, Dovalina added, and he "received a number of gunshot wounds."

Five officers were taken to Laredo Medical Center for treatment, including two who sustained serious injuries.

Officer Priscilla Smith, 23, suffered a shot to her left arm and was undergoing surgery at 3 p.m.; Officer Rodolfo "Rudy" Guerrero, 26, was shot in his arm and leg and flown to University Hospital in San Antonio.

Both have served on the force for two-and-a-half years and are being carefully monitored due to their "guarded conditions," Baeza said late Monday.

Other injured officers included Sgt. Enedina Martinez, who received pellet wounds to her face; Officer Walter "Wally" Gonzalez, who also sustained pellet wounds to his face and leg; and Officer Raul Medina, who suffered shrapnel wounds to the face.

The three officers had been treated and released by mid-afternoon.

All the officers were wearing bulletproof vests.

The man police allege fired the shots, identified as 41-year-old Guadalupe Ricardo Tenorio, died shortly before 10 a.m. at Laredo Medical Center, said Officer Joe Baeza, LPD spokesman.

Whether the officers' shots killed the man was unclear, and an autopsy was scheduled for 4 p.m. to determine the cause of death.

"We are not sure what the ending factor was for him," Baeza said.

Hours after the incident, Laredo police may yet have a long night ahead of them in untangling the logistics of what occurred at the residence Monday morning.

"Our detectives are still on the scene," Dovalina said at a press conference held at Laredo Police Department Headquarters at 3 p.m. "We are trying to determine exactly what happened, what transpired on that scene."

Police questioned and released a woman who was in the residence at the time of the shooting, Baeza said. It is unclear what her relation is to the suspect, he said; she has not been charged with any crimes in connection to the incident.

Despite the calm atmosphere of the press conference, the scene Monday morning was one of chaos.

Neighbors observed from their porches as dozens of law enforcement agents -- from Laredo Police Department, Laredo Independent School District Police Department, Webb County Sheriff's Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Border Patrol, Webb County Constable's Office, SWAT Team, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Federal Bureau of Investigations -- swarmed the seven-block radius of the cordoned-off crime scene shortly after the shootings.

Meanwhile, several nearby Laredo Independent School District campuses -- including Martin High School, Macdonell Elementary School, L.J. Christen Middle School, Vidal M. Treviņo School of Communications and Fine Arts and LISD's central offices on Houston Street -- went into lockdown.

Baeza said several students called their parents to report the schools were in lockdown because of a shooting on campus, but stressed that no incident took place on the school grounds, and that officials merely erred on the side of caution.

"They don't take any chances," he said. "There was never any student on the campus in danger of any kind."

LISD spokesman Marco Alvarado said the schools continued in lockdown from about 9 to 11 a.m. as a precautionary measure.

"Because of the close proximity to our schools, we implemented our standard procedure of lockdown mode," he said. "There was no immediate danger, but we are not taking any risks. We had various rumors come to our attention, as well as that there had been students injured or shots of some sort, and none of that transpired on our campus."

Alvarado added that in the future, concerned parents should call the district's offices to confirm information received from sources outside official personnel.

Several Laredo police officers searched yards, trash cans and open vehicles on the 1800 block of Main Avenue around 9:30 a.m., near resident Jose Coronado's home.

"I just heard the sirens and everything went haywire," said Coronado, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1958. "It's a quiet neighborhood; this is too much excitement for us -- especially on a Monday morning."

Maria Martinez, who has lived in the neighborhood for 55 years, said she was in her front yard when she heard the shots. She didn't know how many were fired.

"I heard a lot of shots, very, very loud," she said. "As soon as I heard those shots, I went inside. I didn't want to get hit."

The LPD Bomb Squad later arrived on the scene at about 10:20 a.m., and a chopper patrolled the area shortly after.

Bomb Squad was called in for a basic sweep, "because of the number of weapons found in the house," Baeza said.

"It's normal operating protocol to make sure he didn't have anything more than that," he said.

No information on the number, make or model of the firearms was available Monday afternoon.

At the press conference, Chief Dovalina and Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas thanked the multitude of agencies that responded to the scene and offered support, as well as staff at Laredo Medical Center.

"I'm very proud of our men and women who serve Laredo every day and put their lives at risk," Salinas said.

The mayor, who met with officers recovering in the hospital, described their spirits as "incredible," explaining that Smith -- who had suffered some of the more serious injuries -- was "ready to bounce off her bed and get back on duty."

Dovalina asked "the community for their prayers as well as their well wishes," referring to both the officers and their families.

He later described the attack as a "slap in the face" to his force.

"It's several of our own who have been hurt," he said. "There is a sense of frustration and even anger."

Monday's shootout resulted in the third assault of local law enforcement officers in the last five months.

In December, officials allege a suspect slammed a state trooper into a guardrail with his car on Interstate 35, and last week, authorities allege a suspect shot a Border Patrol agent.

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sadhvacman
May 1, 2007, 10:06 PM
The man the police allege fired the shots....
I cant stand the whole alleged thing when there is a shootout involved. The officers dont allege sh-- they saw the man shoot at them and some were shot by him!The man is dead he will not stand trial, bullets are much cheaper than court costs. It's horrible that the officers were injured. I wonder if those officers would use the word allege when describing this incident.

Aguila Blanca
May 2, 2007, 01:25 AM
I cant stand the whole alleged thing when there is a shootout involved. The officers dont allege sh-- they saw the man shoot at them and some were shot by him!The man is dead he will not stand trial, bullets are much cheaper than court costs. It's horrible that the officers were injured. I wonder if those officers would use the word allege when describing this incident.
They might. Unfortunately, it's one of those CYA things that has taken on a life of its own. Reporters now use it so frequently that they have lost track of what's a fact and what's an allegation. You pretty much put your finger on it. Facts are facts, and when multiple witnesses SAW suspect John Doe shoot Officer Priscilla Smith, no "allege" is necessary. Fact: she was shot. Fact: Witnesses saw Doe shoot her. No allegation involved. Allegations are when suspicions are unproven.

In December, officials allege a suspect slammed a state trooper into a guardrail with his car on Interstate 35, and last week, authorities allege a suspect shot a Border Patrol agent.
The above are examples of reporters not knowing when to use "allege." Unless there is a suspicion that the state trooper rammed his own cruiser into a guardrail, there should be no "allege" to the incident. The suspect may not yet have been identified, but the incident apparently did occur, so it is not "alleged" to have occurred. Ditto the BP agent. Unless there is genuine doubt that the agent was actually shot, there is no "allegation" that someone shot him/her. The shooting is a fact, not an allegation. The fact that the identity of the shooter is not known does not make the fact of the shooting into an "allegation."

Edwin Newman was right -- the English language is dead, and it was killed by "journalists."

For those who care about such things, recommended reading: Strictly Speaking and A Civil Tongue, both by the aforementioned Edwin Newman.

Essex County
May 2, 2007, 12:46 PM
Sorry. When I lived in Laredo I thought it was a pretty quiet city. Population was a little over 70,000 back in those days. I still like to visit. Essex

Sam Adams
May 2, 2007, 01:55 PM
The man police allege fired the shots, identified as 41-year-old Guadalupe Ricardo Tenorio,

I'd love to know if he was here legally. Just askin'.

died shortly before 10 a.m. at Laredo Medical Center, said Officer Joe Baeza, LPD spokesman.

Whether the officers' shots killed the man was unclear, and an autopsy was scheduled for 4 p.m. to determine the cause of death.

"We are not sure what the ending factor was for him," Baeza said.

Well, it was either the several dozen orifices the guy suddenly sprouted, or else he fainted from his own bad breath and hit his head on the floor too hard. Lemme see...I don't know...oh, and I don't care. All I know is that the taxpayers just saved a fortune in prosecution and jail costs over the next 30 or so years.

waterhouse
May 2, 2007, 02:14 PM
Sometimes I think I got out of Laredo just in time. Hope all innocents involved have a speedy recovery.

Spreadfire Arms
May 3, 2007, 03:52 AM
i always knew Nuevo Laredo (the Mexico side of this border area) was crazy, i guess it is all spilling over the border into Laredo?

keep your head low Waterhouse!

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