Houston, TX – Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol Trooper Moises Sanchez died in the line of duty on Saturday, nearly five months after he was repeatedly shot while responding to a hit-and-run crash.
The 49-year-old trooper underwent multiple surgeries in the wake of the April 6 attack, including one on Aug. 22 to replace a bone flap with a piece of titanium mesh, DPS said in a Facebook post.
Trooper Sanchez was listed in critical condition the day after the surgery, and passed away on Saturday at approximately 4:15 p.m., KGBT reported.
“Today is an extremely difficult day for Texas, as we have lost one of our finest, Trooper Moises Sanchez,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in a Facebook post later that day.
“Trooper Sanchez demonstrated great strength and bravery as a Texas Trooper, and we will honor his selfless service and sacrifice forever,” Director McCraw continued. “Our DPS family is deeply saddened by his passing, and we’re asking for continued prayers and support for Trooper Sanchez’s wife and three children as well as his countless friends and colleagues during this difficult time.”
The deadly confrontation occurred just before 9 p.m. on April 6, after Trooper Sanchez responded to a traffic collision at North 10th Street and Freddy Gonzalez Drive in McAllen, The Monitor reported at the time.
The driver of one of the vehicles, 24-year-old Victor Alejandro Godinez, fled the scene on foot after the crash.
The trooper caught up with him in the 1500-block of South Maltese and that’s when Godinez opened fire, striking Trooper Sanchez in the head and shoulder, according to KIII.
He also shot at two Edinburgh police officers before he was apprehended shortly after 12:30 a.m. on April 7.
Trooper Sanchez was transported to Doctors Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.
Neither of the other two officers at whom Godinez shot at were injured.
The gunman was also wounded during the gun battle, but it is unclear whose bullet struck him, The Monitor reported.
Godinez was charged with three counts of attempted capital murder of a peace officer, which is a first-degree felony and each count carries a sentence of up to life in prison, according to KIII.
He has pleaded not guilty, The Monitor reported.
Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez said that the case will be presented to a grand jury for a capital murder charge in the wake of Trooper Sanchez’ death, according to KGBT.
“On behalf of the DA’s office, and on behalf of the citizens of Hidalgo County, our deepest condolences go out to the family of Trooper Sanchez,” Rodriguez told The Monitor on Saturday evening. “We will always keep our law enforcement agencies in our prayers.”
Trooper Sanchez served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1989 until 1991, KRGV reported.
The four-year veteran-of-the-force was assigned to the DPS’s Palmview station at the time of his death, according to his department.
The DPS has established a memorial fund to assist Trooper Sanchez’s family in the wake of his death.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Trooper Moises Sanchez, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Trooper Sanchez, your life mattered.