The morning of Tuesday, June 25th the Rio Grande Valley honored fallen officer, Patrol Corporal Jose “Speedy” Espericueta Jr. who was killed in the line of duty.
Last Thursday the Mission police officer was flagged down by a woman near the intersection of Business 83 and Stewart Rd. The woman explained that her son, later identified as 33-year-old Juan Carlos Chapa Jr., had shot at her car. Espericueta attempted to confront the subject who fled from the scene on foot. Chapa opened fire in his attempt to evade his capture. The officer returned fire as back up arrived within minutes. Espericueta was airlifted to McAllen Medical Center immediately. The suspect was transported to another nearby hospital where he later died. Although the medical team attempted to save the life of the fallen officer Espericueta died nearly an hour after arrival.
At a press conference the following day Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez held back tears as he gave details of the incident that led to killing. Espericueta was a veteran of the department and had already worked several years with the San Benito Police Department before becoming a member of his current department. He is survived by his wife Bobbie and two children.
Family, friends, law enforcement colleagues from around the nation and community members paid their last respects Tuesday morning at Palm Valley Church. On behalf of El TEJANO and all of Starr County our deepest condolences to all those affected by his death.