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Texas police chief killed in traffic stop; suspect arrested

This booking photo shows 24-year-old Joshua Lopez, who is accused of fatally shooting Elmendorf, Texas police chief Michael Pimentel during a traffic stop. (Bexar County Sheriff's Office)

This booking photo shows 24-year-old Joshua Lopez, who is accused of fatally shooting Elmendorf, Texas police chief Michael Pimentel during a traffic stop. (Bexar County Sheriff's Office)

(CNN) — A police chief in a small Texas town was shot multiple times during a traffic stop Saturday afternoon and later died, authorities said.

Michael Pimentel served in Elmendorf, a suburb southeast of San Antonio with about 1,500 residents.

According to Rosanne Hughes, spokeswoman of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, Pimentel pulled over a vehicle in a residential area. There was a struggle and Pimentel was shot, Hughes said.

The chief was flown by helicopter to University Hospital in San Antonio, where he died of his wounds, according to Hughes.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office took 24-year-old Joshua Manuel Lopez into custody and he will face charges of capital murder of a police officer, said Hughes.

According to Hughes, Lopez had an active misdemeanor warrant for graffiti at the time he was pulled over.

At a press conference, Sheriff Susan L. Pamerleau expressed her department’s condolences and said “even on a quiet, peaceful day in a small town, it can turn deadly in an instant.”

Before he was Elmendorf’s top officer, Pimentel served as police chief of the San Antonio Independent School District, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

A call placed to what is believed to be the Lopez family residence was not immediately returned.

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