An El Paso County sheriff’s deputy was shot multiple times — including once to the head — during a traffic stop at about early Friday morning in San Elizario.
Neighbor Xavier Lira was on his way home when he said he saw two suspects running out of a white car. That’s when he noticed Deputy Peter Herrera was laying in the middle of the street.
“He was losing a lot of blood. The officer had it all in his face, his legs, his clothes, everything. He did ask me to go ahead and take off his shirt because he felt like everything was on top of him,” said Lira. “When I took off his shirt he still had the bulletproof vest on and everything. So I was like OK you know for sure he’s OK but being that I had seen all the blood in his face and legs and everything that kind of worried me.”
Xavier Lira said he called 911 and stayed with Deputy Herrera until help arrived.
“He was already hallucinating. He was saying he was gonna die, he was gonna die,” said Lira.
He said he kept talking to Deputy Herrera to keep him alert. Lira said he waved down a couple in another car who ended up helping Lira get Herrera out of the middle of the street on to the side of the road.
Lira said he was there at that moment for a reason. He can’t imagine what would have happened if he wasn’t there.
“Well being how I saw the officer, the condition he was at, I think he would’ve been gone,” he said.
Sheriff Richard Wiles said during a traffic stop Deputy Herrera asked a man and woman to get out of the car and that’s when the shooting happened.
“The deputy was hit multiple times. The deputy did not have an opportunity to return fire,” said Wiles.
The sheriff said the deputy was shot in the body and head but the bullet missed his brain.
Deputy Herrera underwent surgery Friday morning. At last check, he was in critical condition but was expected to recover.
The sheriff said the suspects were found hiding in a shed. Two people are in custody in connection to the shooting of Herrera. The sheriff’s office said the suspected shooter is 27-year old Facundo Chavez.