Trooper Sanchez’s condition improves; takes steps

State Trooper Moises Sanchez, who was shot while on duty April 6, severely injured and feared dead by a shocked Rio Grande Valley community, continues to recover and is taking steps with the assistance of a mechanical exoskeleton, according to a DPS statement issued on its social media pages.

The DPS statement cites Sanchez’s wife, Yvonne Sanchez, in reporting that the trooper is stable but “does not respond to commands.” However, the statement also reads that Sanchez is not “supported by any artificial or mechanical means” with the exception of requiring a feeding tube.

“He cannot sit or stand unassisted,” Yvonne Sanchez said in the DPS statement. “He has been able to take some steps with the assistance of the mechanical exoskeleton known as EKSO GT. The rehabilitation at DHR has been great for him as it has strengthened his core. We hope and pray for his continued improvement in his physical and mental condition at TIRR.”

Sanchez has been treated at the rehabilitation facility at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, and was expected to be transferred last Friday to TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation & Research Hospital in Houston.

TIRR was ranked third in the 2018-19 rehabilitation rankings of the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals.”

In the DPS statement, Yvonne Sanchez also thanked the staff at DHR for her husband’s care.

“We can’t say thank you enough to DHR Neuro Dr. Achal Patel, Dr. Juan Padilla and the entire DHR Neuro ICU team as well as Dr. Saroja Viswamitra and her medical team at DHR Rehabilitation Hospital — all of whom have cared for Moses and helped bring him to this point in his recovery,” the statement read. “We are extremely grateful for all their efforts, and we will never forget the love and support they’ve provided Moses and our family these last few months.”

The suspect in Sanchez’s shooting, Victor Alejandro Godinez, 24, is accused of opening fire on the trooper after allegedly fleeing the scene of an April 6 car crash on foot in the vicinity of North 10th Street and Freddy Gonzalez Drive in McAllen. Specifically, local authorities believe Godinez allegedly shot Sanchez when the trooper caught up to the suspect in the 1500 block of South Maltese Street in Edinburg.

Godinez, of Edinburg, was pursued by multiple law enforcement agencies until being apprehended by Edinburg police sometime between 12:30 and 12:50 a.m. that Sunday. He was arraigned later that morning on three counts of attempted capital murder of a peace officer, a first degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.

Sanchez, 48, has since gained the support of the Valley law enforcement community as well as residents of South Texas, coming in the form of well-wishes and prayers as well as public drives, vigils and events in his honor.

“We also want to say thank you to everyone who has generously given love, support, financial assistance and encouragement to our family,” Yvonne Sanchez said in the DPS statement. “It means more to us than you could ever know.

“As we take the next steps in this journey that we pray will lead Moses home soon, know that our faith and hope are strong. We welcome your continued prayers too.”