Man Shot by Police Officer Dies

Martha Montoya remembers her neighbor 70-year-old Willard Forrest Hargrove, as a man that kept to himself and tended to his dogs and horses. That's why she could not believe he was involved in a shooting with a Primera police officer, about two months at the man TMs home on SPC Eric D. Salinas Street.

"I was very shocked because normally he's a very quiet person, Montoya said. You don TMt even know there's people (at the house) because it's quiet."

Hargrove died shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday morning at a Harlingen hospital, after complications from a shot to the inner right leg. According to Primera Police Chief Manny Trevio, the man was shot by one of his officers after a domestic violence call at his home.

Hargrove had three weapons on him, Trevio said, and used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot at the officer. Trevio adds the officer was forced to shoot back twice in self defense - striking the man once in the leg.

"He passed away possibly from heart failure, the chief said. Mr. Hargrove already, prior to this incident, had existing medical conditions with his heart. (He) apparently had complications and never fully recovered."

Trevio said the officer is back on the job but, the incident has taken its toll on him and the entire department. It TMs also opened their eyes to the dangers of the job.

"It makes you think twice now, Trevio said, (when) you respond to basically any call. A lot of people or some officers have a tendency to think it's a small town (and) nothing ever happens. (However) it's just like any other city - we do have the big city problems, just maybe in a lower amount."

Montoya said she feels for the family, but does not assign blame to the Primera police officer that shot the man.

I thank God we have officers, and their duty is to protect, Montoya said. He found himself in a situation where he had no choice to do what he had to do. That's why we have them - to protect us."