By Jared Taylor and Karen Antonacci
EDINBURG, Texas — A policeman suffered multiple gunshot wounds while responding to a domestic disturbance late Thursday night, Edinburg police said.
The officer was responding to a disturbance call that involved a woman on the 800 block of South 20th Street about 11 p.m. Thursday when he told dispatchers he'd been shot, said Lt. Oscar Treviño, an Edinburg police spokesman.
Police were searching for one or two male suspects that they believe fled the scene on foot, Treviño said.
"Right now, this is very difficult for (the officer's) comrades to deal with. You know, everybody's concerned and you always hear that the most dangerous call that an officer responds to is always a family disturbance call or a domestic disturbance call," Treviño said. "Those are unpredictable, you never know what's going to happen, you never know what's on the other side of the door and this is a perfect example about what we talked about."
Texas Rangers and helicopters buzzed overhead as part of a search for multiple suspects considered armed and dangerous early Friday morning.
Edinburg police officers were seen walking the neighborhood with flashlights, looking for evidence related to the crime. Others slowly drove the streets in police cruisers, spotlights shining in the search, stopping to talk to neighbors outside.
Neighbor Yvonne Rocha, 46, heard three shots and then three more about 11 p.m., she said.
"Then I heard somebody scream really loud," Rocha said. "I heard him say 'My kids! My kids were in there and that's not right!'"
People who said they were relatives of the family at the property where the shooting occurred declined to comment. Multiple young children were seen inside their car, but it's unclear whether they were there during the shooting.
Neighbor Ismael Garcia, 45, said he counted even more gunshots.
"I heard about 10 shots and then a pause and then three to four more shots, and I came outside and could hear somebody running away" east on Sprague Street, he said.
The officer, who was shot in both legs, was taken to McAllen Medical Center, said a source familiar with the situation. Police would not confirm or deny where the officer had been shot or how many times.
"It's fortunate that our officer is being treated and we're hoping that he's going to pull through," Treviño said.
A 24-year-old man was taken to Edinburg Regional with a head wound, the source said.
A McAllen Medical Center spokeswoman said she could not confirm any information about the officer's condition.
"Due to patient privacy laws, South Texas Health Systems is unable to release any information about the individual you inquired about," the spokeswoman said in a text message. South Texas Health Systems is the parent company of McAllen Medical Center.
Rocha said in her time living in the neighborhood, it's normally been quiet.
"It's crazy. We've been here a year and four months and nothing like this has ever happened," she said. "You can never be safe enough, though."
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Copyright 2014 The Monitor