Man Working Near Cameron Co. Shootout Shares Story

4 years 3 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, June 20 2017 Jun 20, 2017 June 20, 2017 9:19 PM June 20, 2017 in News

SAN BENITO – A Rio Grande Valley man said he is grateful to be safe after being caught feet away from a shootout between police and an escaped inmate.

On June 8, inmate Miguel Diaz-Garcia was killed as result of a shootout in San Benito.

DPS Lt. Johnny Hernandez said it started when Garcia escaped from a Cameron County Sheriff's Deputy who was transporting him for medical treatment in Brownsville. 

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said Garcia used a shank to slash the deputy on the side of the neck.

Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez said Garcia then headed to a residence along Fruitdale Drive and shot the homeowner, 57-year-old Mario Alfredo Martinez.

Martinez died from his injuries.

Law enforcement officials said Garcia carjacked the homeowner's vehicle and a police chase ensued throughout the county. It ended near Gulf Coast Sign Company on Amistad Drive and Falcon Boulevard in San Benito.

Gulf Coast Signs Co. worker Roger Molina said work was interrupted when the police chase ended in the parking lot of the business.

"I looked out of my window and the car was already inside. There was already like 13, 12 maybe, cop cars. All I got to see was the cop cars and I immediately heard gunfire and I got on the ground," he said.

 At the time, Molina said he didn't know what he witnessed was the end of a fugitive search.

"I was scared that maybe this person, the fugitive, was going to maybe go inside our location," he added.

Molina said the tension and confusion ended before Garcia could ever enter the office.

Garcia was shot by law enforcement during the shootout and died from his injuries.

"Once we saw a lot of cops, and once we saw they were walking, you know like more calm, that's when we knew that all of it was taken care of," said Molina.

Molina told CHANNEL 5 NEWS what he saw was like something out of the movies.

"We see it all on those video games and stuff, but it doesn't get scary until you start hearing those shots really loud. They're way louder in person," he said.

Molina added it is back to business as usual in his otherwise calm office environment.

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