Lawyer: Couple charged with shooting, wounding deputy claiming ‘self-defense’
DALE, Texas —
A couple charged with injuring a Caldwell County sheriff deputy Friday claim the incident was a case of mistaken identity, their attorney confirms to CBS Austin.
Attorney Richard Banks is representing 33-year-old Edwardo Padilla and 54-year-old Kimberly Ashford Moore.
Banks states that the couple intend to plead ‘not guilty’.
Padilla and Moore were arrested at the scene and transferred to Caldwell County Jail, where they have been magistrated and charged each with aggravated assault of a public servant and deadly conduct with a firearm, according to Banks.
The couple is being held on a bond of $1,250,000 each.
The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office says one deputy was shot after responding to a call for service on Hidden Oak Road in the Dale, Texas area early Friday morning.
The deputy suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to an area hospital where they underwent multiple surgeries. People who live in the area said they heard the gunshots but avoided the scene. They described the rural road as a quiet place where people keep to themselves.
"I’ve been living here a little bit over five years and this is the first time that anything like this ever happened," said Joe de la Cruz.
Two suspects were taken into custody but their names and charges haven't been released. It's a stark reminder that no matter the city size, law enforcement jobs can be dangerous every day.
"Officers in a rural area, even though they face the same danger, they’re probably lulled to sleep by the fact they’re not used as to SWAT raids or crime from national gangs that might be in an urban center," explained Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas Executive Director Charley Wilkison.
The Texas Rangers are taking over the investigation. For a small department, investigating the shooting of one of their own can be all-consuming.
"It's very typical for Texas Rangers to investigate in a rural area. They are the muscle that stretches between agencies and departments. They're going to have the resources to come in whereas a smaller department would not immediately have that," said Wilkison.
The lack of resources and manpower is one problem law enforcement agencies throughout the country are experiencing now, in both rural and urban departments.
But for situations like this shooting, rural departments especially feel this effect.
"It's unfortunate. We're stretched so thin in law enforcement in Texas, you're not going to have immediate backup regardless of where you are," Wilkison said.
The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said they aren't ready to release the name of the deputy who was shot. DPS said they had critical injuries but was stable after surgery.