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Authorities Continue Investigating Shooting Scene in San Ben

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SAN BENITO - Brownsville police confirmed a homeowner was shot and killed after an inmate escaped custody. The escaped inmate died after he was injured in a shootout.

DPS Lt. Johnny Hernandez said a Cameron County sheriff's deputy was transporting inmate Miguel Diaz Garcia for medical treatment when he allegedly overpowered the deputy and escaped. 

Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez said Garcia entered a residence along Fruitdale Drive and shot the homeowner, 57-year-old Mario Alfredo Martinez. Rodriguez said Martinez died from his injuries.

According to law enforcement officials, Garcia carjacked the homeowner’s vehicle and a chase ensued soon after throughout Cameron County. DPS Lt. Johnny Hernandez said the chase ended in San Benito after law enforcement and the escapee exchanged gunfire.

Police surrounded the area on Amistad Drive and Falcon Boulevard, near the Gillman Chevrolet dealership and Gulf Coast Sign Company in San Benito. Several law enforcement agencies were at the scene including Cameron County sheriff's deputies, San Benito police and Brownsville police. 

Det. JJ Trevino with the Brownsville Police Department said Garcia died of his injuries after being transported to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen.

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio told CHANNEL 5 NEWS he could not say which law enforcement agency fired their weapons at the suspect or how many times he was hit. Lucio said before Garcia escaped, he severely injured the transporting officer.

“He was able to go ahead and remove the handcuffs. And when the officer opened up the sliding door to get him out, he jumped the officer,” the sheriff said.

According to Lucio, Garcia had a shank and slashed the officer on the side of the neck. Lucio said he spoke to the injured officer and he is doing okay.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the incident. We'll keep you updated.

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