Officer Shoots suspect in self-defense

A Pharr policeman is on administrative leave pending the investigation on a shooting that took place Friday. Police Chief Ruben Villescas said the officer shot 26-year-old Manuel Francisco Gomez in self-defense.

The suspect took police on a chase that began shortly before 3 p.m. Immigration Customs and Enforcement agents tipped-off police about a white truck traveling south-bound on U.S. Highway 281 that was potentially carrying high-powered weapons.

Upon coming in contact with the officers the suspect fled from the officers causing a chase, Villescas said.

Gomez led police to the intersection of North Flag Street and West Juarez Avenue here he came to a crashing stop.

"The male driver ran away from the vehicle leaving behind four high powered AK-47-type rifles," Villescas added.

Also inside the truck, were a woman and two-year-old child - they were not seriously injured in the crash.

The search for Gomez inside a home led-up to the shooting.

There was sudden movement that the suspect did, Villescas said. At that time, that caused the officer to fear for his life and the officer shot once at the individual shooting him in the abdomen.

Gomez remains in the hospital in stable condition but police say the high-powered rifles found inside the truck Gomez was driving may reveal more about his criminal activity.

"We found that the serial numbers to the rifles had been scratched-off, Villescas said. We also have intelligent information that he presumably has links to drug cartels and other drug organizations in Mexico."

Police said they are waiting for Gomez to recover to question him about the weapons.The Texas Rangers will take over the investigation on Gomez's shooting. The officer that shot Gomez will remain under administrative leave until the investigation is completed, Villescas said.