2009-02-18 / Front Page

Man who threatend police shot in front of burning home

When firemen reported to a fire at a house located at 474 W. San Francisco, early Tuesday afternoon they were threatened by the occupant later identified as Carlos Cortez, 29.

Police were called to the scene and Cortez reportedly came out of the house and threatened officer Matthew Betancourt with a steak knife.

Detective David Robles of the Raymondville Police Dept. said that officer Betancourt attempted to defuse a volatile situation by holstering his weapon and backing away from Cortez.

Cortez, however, grabbed a fire ax from the fire truck parked in front of his home and lunged at Betancourt, who pulled his weapon and shot Cortez once in the upper chest with a Glock 40 caliber automatic pistol.

Cortez was taken to Valley Baptist Medical Center, Harlingen where emergency surgery was performed in an attempt to save his life.

Officer Betancourt has been a member of the police force for about two years, according to Det. Robles.

Police believe Cortez lived at the house with his mother and a sister who were not at home at the time of the fire. It is not clear how the fire started, police say.

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