Miguel Diaz Garcia, 38

San Benito, Texas
June 08, 2017

Agencies: Texas Attorney General's Office | Texas Department of Public Safety | Cameron Police Department Texas | Brownsville Police Department - Texas

Cause of death: Shooting

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Last updated: almost 6 years ago


A chase for an inmate who escaped from authorities and then killed someone during a carjacking, ended in a shooting in San Benito, authorities said. The inmate later died.

The tragic series of events began when the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office was transporting inmate Miguel Garcia to the 3700 block of Boca Chica Boulevard to receive medical attention, said Brownsville Police spokesman J.J. Trevino.

Officials say Garcia attacked the detention officer, slashing his face, taking his gun belt and assault rifle. Police say Garcia swam across a nearby resaca and forced his way into a home on Fruitdale Road demanding keys to a car.

“Apparently he was able to escape and he took off to a local residence here and optimally shot and killed the residence owner, took his vehicle, and he was found somewhere on the expressway where a pursuit ensued and ended up in San Benito," Trevino said.

The shooting victim has been identified as 56-year-old Mario Martinez.

Garcia fled in Martinez's blue 2014 Hyundai Elantra. Brownsville police, the sheriff's department, constables and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers chased Garcia on FM 511 and eventually northbound on Expressway 77 to San Benito.

The chase ended in the industrial park at Williams Road and the frontage road, when the suspect drove into the parking lot of the Gulf Coast Sign Company.

Witnesses near the Gillman Chevrolet car dealership in San Benito said they heard a quick succession of gunshots. One bystander described the scene as a “concert of lights.”

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said Garcia was shot and transported to Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen where he died.

Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez also was on site. He said Brownsville PD was part of a multi-agency operation that was coordinated by the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department.

Lt. Johnny Hernandez, the communications officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said it assisted in the operation with the Texas Rangers.