December 20, 2007
Officer Down: Police Officer James Saavedra
Officer Down: Police Officer James Saavedra - [Corpus Christi, Texas]
PoliceOne Member since 06/21/2006
Cause of Death: Gunfire (Accidental)
Incident Details: Officer James Saavedra was accidentally shot and killed at the department's shooting range as he and another range master were sighting in a rifle.
Additional Information: Officer Saavedra had served with the Port of Corpus Christi Police Department for 4 years and had previously served with the Corpus Christi Independent School District Police Department and with the Nueces County Constable's Office. He is survived by his wife, son, and two daughters.
End of Watch: Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Texas officer fatally shot at range
Corpus Christi Caller-Times
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A 40-year-old Port of Corpus Christi police officer died from a gunshot wound Wednesday while he and another officer were sighting in a rifle, the port's police chief said.
Officer James Saavedra was shot once in the chest about 4:55 p.m. and died about an hour later in the hospital after he and officer Eric Giannamore were at the department's range off the 4000 block of Rincon Road, said Chief Luther Kim.
"Words cannot express the sorrow we all feel at his untimely passing," Kim said. "(Saavedra) was an exceptional and highly experienced police officer, but more importantly, a wonderful man."
Kim said Wednesday night that he did not know for sure which officer fired the shot, how far the officers were from each other or whether Saavedra was downrange during the incident.
"I would guess that to be true but don't know that for sure," he said of the officer being downrange. "I don't want to say anything preliminary that I'm not sure of."
Kim asked the Corpus Christi Police Department to handle the investigation, and Giannamore has been put on paid administrative leave. Both officers were at the range while on duty, and both were qualified range masters and experienced as firearms instructors, Kim said.
Corpus Christi police Capt. John Houston, one of the officers who responded shortly after the incident, said he could not give details beyond what the port released, citing the ongoing investigation.
Saavedra was one of the original officers first hired after the port police department was created in 2003. Before joining the port police, he was a deputy constable in Corpus Christi.
Saavedra is survived by his wife, Rachel, two daughters and a son. The department has nine officers total.
Copyright 2007 Corpus Christi Caller-Times