Elmendorf police chief gunned down during traffic stop

ELMENDORF, Texas -- Elmendorf chief of police Michael Pimentel died Saturday as a result of gunshot wounds he suffered in the far southeast part of Bexar County.

A witness told KENS 5 she saw Pimentel go down in the middle of the street after being shot by a young resident of the small city. The woman, named Jennifer, said the pair got into some sort of altercation before three shots were fired.

The officer, who was in his 60s, was eventually transported to University Hospital via AirLIFE. The witness said the officer did not look good.

Deputies arrived on scene and took the 24-year-old suspect into custody. He's been identified as Joshua Manuel Lopez, according to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Susan Pamerleau was called to the scene. She told KENS 5 the shooting stemmed from a traffic stop that went awry. Pamerleau would not comment on the officer's condition; however, the San Antonio Police Department tweeted that the officer died.

Hours later, the sheriff confirmed the deceased as Pimentel. She said he was a devoted husband and father who lived in the area he served. According to a meeting agenda from 2003, Pimentel served as police chief for the San Antonio Independent School District, beginning in 2002.

Officials said the shooter would be charged with capital murder of a police officer. The witness KENS 5 spoke with said the suspect is a neighbor and has a history of mental illness. Pamerleau told KENS 5 Lopez has an outstanding graffiti warrant, but couldn't confirm if that motivated the shooting.

So far, Lopez has only been booked on the graffiti charge.

The gunfire erupted near East 9th Street and South 1st Avenue at around 11:40 a.m. Elmendorf sits near the Bexar-Wilson county line, just inside S.E. Loop 1604. SAPD said it would aid in the investigation.

The Heroes Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization that manages the Facebook page '53 Hours,' asked its followers to 'shine a light for police chief Michael Pimentel' every evening, from Aug. 23 through Saturday, Aug. 30., in remembrance of the chief.

According to HMF, a police officer is killed every fifty-three hours.

The mayor of Elmendorf, Evelyn Lykins, released the following statement Saturday evening:

"Chief Michael Pimentel was shot late this morning while on duty in the City of Elmendorf and succumbed to the injuries from the gunshots at approximately 12:40 this afternoon. I have no words to express the level of grief and loss that we at the City of Elmendorf feel. Our prayers are with Chief Pimentel's family.

Chief Pimentel was conducting a stop on an individual with an active arrest warrant when the subject of the warrant opened fire on Chief Pimentel striking him once in the shoulder and once in the abdomen. The suspect has been apprehended and is in custody.

Chief Pimentel served as the Chief of the Elmendorf Police Department for over a year and, in that time, worked to more effectively serve the citizens of Elmendorf and to provide a safer and more efficient work environment for his officers. He embraced the community of Elmendorf not only as its head law enforcement officer but also as a resident. We will miss him.

Our Police Department and the Bexar County Sheriff's Office are currently investigating the incident. We will provide more information and memorial service details as they become available."


Twitter: @ErandeTX


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment