Sunday, May 23, 2010
Officer Alfredo F. Araiza
Officer Alfredo Flores Araiza
Live Oak Police Department, TX
Born: December 10, 1955
Cause of Death: Gunfire/Head-On Vehicular Crash
End of Watch: Thursday, January 17, 1980
Date of Incident: Thursday, January 17, 1980
Badge Number: 208
Tour of Duty: 1 year
Suspect Info: Richard Graham and Robert Graham; Charged with Manslaughter and Capital Murder
Weapon Used: Multiple Handguns
Buried: San Fernando Cemetery #2
Location of Name on National and Texas Monuments
NLEOMF: P5 - E5
TPOM: 10, C, 09
On January 17, 1980 at 1:42 pm, Officer Alfredo Araiza was working stationary radar in the 13200 block of IH 35 North at which time he clocked a white sedan speeding over the posted speed limit. Officer Araiza gave pursuit and attempted to pull over the vehicle in question at which time the vehicle increased speed in excess of 100 mph and attempted to elude capture. Officer Araiza radioed dispatch that he was in pursuit of this vehicle traveling westbound on FM Loop 1604.
Unknown to Officer Araiza, at the time, the two men in the vehicle had just committed a home invasion robbery and had $500,000 worth of Methamphetamines and PCP in the car and $8,000 in cash. The suspects, armed with three handguns began to shoot at Officer Araiza.
Officer Araiza reported via radio that he was being shot at by a passenger in the vehicle and requested assistance. Shortly thereafter, radio contact was lost with Officer Araiza. It was determined that Officer Araiza had lost control of his marked patrol unit as a result of being shot at by the defendants. Within minutes it was discovered that Officer Araiza had driven his patrol vehicle into the path of an on coming 18 wheeled gravel truck, at a speed of approximately 115 mph, causing a collision and a fire which threw Officer Araiza 80 feet and completely disintegrated his patrol car. The fiery collision instantly killed Officer Araiza and injured the driver of the on-coming rig. Although it was not medically proven due to his extensive injuries, it is believed Officer Araiza was struck by the suspects’ gunfire and lost control of his vehicle which then collided with a large gravel truck. The fleeing suspects, Robert and Richard Graham of Bulverde, Texas were apprehended later that afternoon after they entered a home and held the owners captive. Robert and Richard surrendered to DPS and charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and Capital Murder of a Police Officer.
Officer Araiza was survived by his wife of six months, parents, 6 sisters, and 1 brother.
Officer Araiza held a degree in Law Enforcement from Southwest Texas State University. ----source San Antonio Light, San Antonio Express News, and Live Oak website
Granite marker has been placed in front of Live Oak's new Justice Center to honor the memory of Officer Araiza. On February 23, 2010 Live Oak City Council approved to name the new Justice Center Training Room after Officer Araiza.
Standing outside the new Live Oak Justice Center are (from left), Dan Pue, assistant police chief; Matt Smith, city manager; Joe Painter, mayor; and Ron Echols, police chief. The granite marker is a dedication to officer Alfredo Araiza, who died in the line of duty. Photo by Jeff B. Flinn