Funeral services for slain McAllen police officers planned this week

McALLEN — Funeral services for two McAllen police officers who were killed Saturday in what has been described as an ambush-style shooting will be held later this week  at the McAllen Convention Center, according to a news release from the city.

A public viewing will be held Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m., while  funeral services will take place at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Interment will follow immediately afterward in Mission. Officer Ismael Chavez Jr., 39,  will be interred at Valley Memorial Gardens and officer Edelmiro Garza Jr., 45, will be interred at Rio Grande Veterans Cemetery.

Chavez’s services will be directed by Memorial Funeral Home in San Juan and Garza’s services will be directed by Kreidler Funeral Home Inc. in McAllen.

City spokesperson Xochitl Mora says she expects the services to be open to the public in some capacity, but planning is still underway and it’s not yet clear what that will look like.

She says there will likely be a limit on how many people are allowed inside the convention center due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said that all or part of the services may be aired on the city’s television channel or live-streamed, although she cautioned that those plans were not yet finalized.

“I think there’s a lot of issues that make this mourning extremely difficult for our community in that so many people do want to express their condolences, and their thoughts and prayers and love and support for the families of our fallen officers,” she said. “But obviously we are in a pandemic so that traditional way of being with the family and be close to them is difficult. We do have to maintain that social distancing, even with a venue as large as the McAllen Convention Center.”

Mora said plans for the service will also hinge on the wishes of the officers’ families.

“We do also want to be respectful of the family and their period of mourning here, so it’s something that we are navigating very carefully,” she said. “We’re trying to keep everyone in mind, but most especially the family and what their wishes are.”

According to Mora, the city does not yet have plans for any other memorial services.