Last night, a Mission, Texas policeman previously showcased on the popular reality-TV show “Live PD” was flagged down by the mother of a 33-year-old man (her son) whose behavior she said involved discharging rounds from a firearm at the family car after arguing with family members. Once back-up officers were on scene and located the man in question as he walked along a nearby roadway, Corporal Joey “Speedy” Espericueta called for the suspect to stop. The suspect fled on foot then spun around and opened fire at pursuing officers. Espericueta was shot several times; Return fire killed the suspect.
Sadly, Cpl. Espericueta’s wounds were mortal; he succumbed at the hospital.
Cpl. Espericueta was a community-oriented police officer, routinely stopping to chat with citizens throughout his beat. Here is a visual nugget of the type of cop he was, as portrayed on one particular “Live PD” episode:
From what I can gather, Cpl. Espericueta is the 58th line-of-duty death thus far this year, and the 11th one in the present month, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP). The cold-blooded killing of Cpl. Espericueta transpired last night, and was listed by ODMP as I wrote about this latest tragedy of fallen warriors.
Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez stated that the now-deceased suspect had several run-ins with law enforcement and a lengthy criminal history outlining various convictions. Per Chief Dominguez, Cpl. Espericueta was married with two children and had served the citizens of Mission for 13 years.
A Facebook comment I found among several eing Cpl. Espericueta punctuated the callous climate of monsters we live among. The following testimony underscores what we all have known for quite some time now, with hardly a glimmer of the pendulum swinging back the other way. Policing has always been a dangerous profession, and it has reached boiling point.
The Facebook post I referred to attests to the pulse of policing today: “This is more than sad, it’s disgusting. More and more cops are retiring early also because it’s just too dangerous. Two of my cousins have been on the force for decades in San Diego. Last week, one of them walked into the office, laid down all of his gear on the desk and quit. Had enough, he said. Lieutenant, 33 years. He’ll get retirement, but no insurance. This is the real thanks they get. At least he got out with his life.”
Cpl. Espericueta was not afforded that opportunity. But he did prolong life for those two children in that 100-degree oven on four wheels that you viewed inn the video above. As of this writing, that particular “Live PD” video has chronicled slightly less than four million views. Legacy lives on…