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Texas sheriff gunned down and killed during routine traffic stop

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During a routine traffic stop in Elmendor, Texas, on Aug. 23 just before noon, Elmendorf Police Chief Michael Pimentel was shot and killed while attempting to serve a misdemeanor warrant for graffiti on 24-year-old Joshua Manuel Lopez. Bexar County Sheriff Susan Parmerleau announced yesterday that after Pimentel pulled Lopez over to serve that warrant, “Lopez shot Pimentel several times.”

Pimentel was choppered to nearby University Hospital where he was pronounced dead from those gunshot wounds, according to Fox News. The small town of Elmendorf is located about 25 miles southeast of San Antonio. The mayor of Elmendorf, Evelyn Lykins, released a statement saying that Pimentel had served as the town’s police chief for over a year. Elmendorf only employs two full-time police officers.

A sergeant with the police force, Jason Burchett, said he tried speaking to Pimentel in the ambulance following the shooting, but that the chief wasn’t conscious. "Today is proof it doesn’t matter if you’re a small department, you think nothing can happen. Things certainly do," Burchett said.

A woman who identified herself only as Jennifer said she saw Pimentel and another man get into an altercation before three shots were fired.

She said she saw Pimentel go down in the middle of the street after being shot. ~ USA Today

The shooter was arrested on the scene and taken into custody without any further incident. Parmerleau said that Lopez will be charged with “capital murder for shooting a police officer.” Parmerleau added that Pimentel’s death has devastated the tight knit Texas community.

"It's a very small town. Everybody knows each other."

"He embraced the community of Elmendorf not only as its head of law enforcement officer but also as a resident. We will miss him," the mayor said.

The San Antonio Express-News reported that Pimentel was shot in the shoulder and in the abdomen. Burchett said that Lopez “suffered from mental illness.”

The Bexar County Sheriff's Office will be taking over the investigation into Pimentel’s shooting. Pimentel is being honored with an End of Watch memorial at the Heroes Memorial Foundation and a Lights On for Chief Michael Pimentel event scheduled for Aug. 30.