LA JOYA, TX (Kevin Lu) — The scene on Leo Avenue is much quieter on Wednesday than it was on Tuesday, when suspected gang member Joaquin Cibrian got into a shootout with law enforcement.
La Joya Police Chief Geovani Hernandez says around 400 officers and agents were on hand. At least 16 blocks of Leo Avenue were closed off. Just about every local, county, state and federal agency in the area was represented.
“A very large response from multiple agencies answered the call of shots fired and officer down,” Interim Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said of the scene last night.
The Department of Public Safety, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, and the La Joya and Edinburg Police Departments were all there initially to serve Cibrian the warrant.
When he began firing at officers, they knew they needed more help. Chief Hernandez then called for local SWAT teams.
“You and your team, I need you out there,” Hernandez recalled telling San Juan Police Department’s Chief Juan Gonzalez. “I need them over there as soon as you can, and he said, ‘yes chief, I’m on my way, I’m going to activate my people.’ So San Juan tactical SWAT arrived within minutes, Sheriff’s Office SWAT arrived within minutes.”
After the call went out, officers from neighboring police departments called people that they know, and they all converged here on Leo Avenue. If there’s one thing that gets officers out in huge numbers like we saw yesterday, it’s a report about somebody shooting at and injuring police.
“We see each other as brothers and we don’t want to see any police officers injured out there,” Hernandez said. “And for somebody to hurt officers, or put them in danger in this manner, that’s a no-no. We’re going to respond, we’re going to help and we’re going to take care of the threat.”
Cibrian held off police for around four hours before he died.