McAllen honors fallen officers at public viewing


MCALLEN, Texas — The city of McAllen on Wednesday held a public viewing for two police officers killed in the line of duty during the weekend.

Officers Eldelmiro Garza Jr. and Ismael Chavez Jr., were shot and killed while responding to domestic disturbance call on Saturday afternoon in McAllen.

McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez says both men were an asset to both the city and the department.

Garza was a 15-year veteran, having spent six years in dispatch and another nine years as a patrol officer. Chavez was a two-year veteran who came from an educational background, spending time as an instructor at Weslaco ISD.

Rodriguez pointed out that their killings were in no way connected to or part of the national movements or protests against police brutality.

“Today, we plan to struggle to lay them to rest, but nothing about what happened is connected or associated in any way linked in any manner to any narrative out there,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the community has rallied behind the department, sending flowers and hundreds of messages and calls, helping as the department moves forward.

The public viewing will continue through 8 p.m. CST at the McAllen Convention Center. Mask are required, and there will be screening before entering the facilities, which include temperature checks. Social distancing will also be enforced. Groups of up to four people from the same household will be allowed to sit together. People not traveling together will have to physically distance from other groups. All rows are set 6 feet apart. No food will be allowed in facilities.

Funeral services set for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, also at the Convention Center.

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