Law enforcement officers embrace brothers who lost family in McGregor killings
Touching moment happened during Sunday Night Light event at Bulldog Stadium
McGREGOR, Texas (KWTX) - Local law enforcement from around two dozen agencies rallied behind the families of the five victims killed in the September shootings in McGregor during an event called Sunday Night Lights at Bulldog Stadium in McGregor over the weekend.
The event was put on free of charge for McGregor citizens by those who live outside of McGregor and was designed to show love to a community devastated by the actions of a gunman who killed five people September 29, including two high school students.
Dozens of first responders parked their vehicles and turned on their emergency lights outside the stadium before coming onto the field.
Represented were agencies from Clifton, Baylor, McGregor, Valley Mills, Crawford, Moody, Bruceville, Lorena, Robinson, Bellmead, West, Lacy Lakeview, Hewitt, Woodway, Waco, MCC, and WISD.
The officers from across the area stood behind McGregor Mayor Jimmy Hering as he issued a proclamation making Sunday “McGregor First Responders Appreciation Day.”
Hering talked about the heroic acts of the McGregor Police Department as three officers approached the vehicle of the shooter, risking their lives to shoot and ultimately stop the killing spree.
The gunman, Nicolas Jaimes-Hernandez, 35, was reportedly paralyzed and remains jailed, charged with capital murder.
“They did what they were trained to do. They did it quickly and efficiently and they did it by textbook,” said McGregor Police Chief James Burson. “I’m proud of the way they handled themselves.”
McGregor High School students Ezra and Zion Aviles lost their mom, Lori, a beloved respiratory therapist and their older sister, Natalie, a two-time former Miss McGregor in nursing school, in the shooting.
The women were both outside, Natalie preparing to leave for class, and Lori leaving for work, when the gunman opened fire.
The loss for the young boys was compounded by the passing of their father and Lori’s husband, Mike, in 2020 to cancer.
The first responders stayed until the conclusion of the event to lead a lap around the track while turning on light from their cellphones to remember the victims. Hundreds of those in attendance then followed behind them.
After the event concluded, law enforcement filed past Ezra and Zion and embraced them in an unscripted moment that brought bystanders to tears.
“It was pretty special, just to know that we really know that they are here for us, and they will do anything for us,” Ezra told KWTX of the moment.
The three children next door also lost their two stepsiblings, Miguel and Natalie Avila, as well as their mom, Monica Delgado.
Businesses and individuals donated money in the days leading up to the event which will be evenly distributed to all five kids surviving with no parents.
“Tonight, meant a lot to me and my brother, seeing the whole community of McGregor come out and support us,” Ezra said. “It really touched our hearts.”
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