Patrolman Ernesto Serna

Patrolman Ernesto Serna

El Paso Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Tuesday, November 12, 1991

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Ernesto Serna

Patrolman Ernesto Serna was shot and killed after confronting a shoplifter.

Patrolman Serna was working an extra-duty assignment as security at the Wal-Mart Store. Patrolman Serna saw a male take a coat from the rack and walk out of the store without paying for it. He followed the shoplifter out of the store and stopped him in the parking lot. When Patrolman Serna confronted the suspect, he drew a handgun out from under his coat and opened fire, striking him once in the face. Patrolman Serna was able to return fire, and shot the suspect three times, killing him.

Patrolman Serna was rushed to Thomason Hospital where he died shortly after 9 p.m.

Patrolman Serna had served with the agency for two years where he was assigned to the Central Substation. He had just returned from Saudi Arabia where he served with the United States Army Reserve in Operation Desert Storm.

He is survived by his wife and three sons. All of his sons became officers with the El Paso Police Department.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 2 years, 6 months
  • Badge 1337
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

secondary employment, shoplifting

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Serna,
On today, the 30th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army-especially during Desert Storm. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

A grateful El Pasoan

United States Border Patrol

November 12, 2021

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