Undocumented Man Sentenced to 180 Months in Federal Prison for Shooting Police Officer in West Texas

Jose Ramon Castillo-Lopez, a 28-year-old Mexican national who illegally possessed a firearm and shot a police officer in Seminole, Texas, has been sentenced to 180 months in federal prison. This announcement was made by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Leigha Simonton.

Mr. Castillo-Lopez was charged via a criminal complaint in October 2022 and subsequently indicted. He entered a guilty plea in May 2023 for illegal alien possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, the incident took place on October 1, 2022, when Mr. Castillo-Lopez was pulled over by a Seminole Police Department officer for traffic violations. As the officer approached the vehicle, Mr. Castillo-Lopez began firing at the officer with a handgun. The officer was struck but managed to move to a defensive position and return fire. Mr. Castillo-Lopez exited his vehicle and fled the scene, dropping a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol as he fled.

The officer, despite being hit, was able to radio in a description of the suspect, leading to his apprehension a few blocks away shortly after the incident.

During an interview with law enforcement, Mr. Castillo-Lopez admitted that he had been previously deported and was currently in the country illegally. He also confessed to firing the pistol, which he claimed to have purchased from an unknown individual at a traffic light in Midland, Texas, for $200.

The victim officer’s body armor protected him from serious injury, and he returned to duty shortly after the incident.

The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigation’s Dallas Field Office and the Seminole Police Department, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew McLeod.