A young female police officer, who was fatally shot by robbers, sent her husband a heartbreaking message in her final moments telling him: “I am dying”.
Lourdes Espindola, 25, was declared brain dead before dying in hospital after she was shot at a bus stop in the city of Ituzaingo, in the eastern Argentina province of Buenos Aires.
She had just gone off duty and was about to pick up her six-year-old son to take him home when two attackers tried to steal her police gun.
Ms Espindola, who was in uniform, fought back against the men and was shot in the struggle. The pair ran off with her weapon.
Her father Juan Espindola revealed that she sent a heartbreaking WhatsApp audio message to her husband Fernando Altamirano, also a police officer, as she lay bleeding on the pavement.
She said in the message: “I was shot, I was shot, I am dying, I am dying.”
Mr Altamirano, 34, immediately called another colleague Samanta Lemos, who had just taken her place on duty.
Lemos rushed to the scene in a police car and found Ms Espindola lying on the ground. She had suffered serious chest injuries despite her bulletproof vest.
Despite the efforts of doctors at the city’s Posadas Hospital, Ms Espindola was later diagnosed as brain dead then died. Her relatives authorised doctors to donate her organs.
“We had dreams, we wanted to buy land to build a house and not live as cops our entire lives,” Mr Altamirano said.
“We did not want to end like this, we have children. We are a family, we had dreams, we loved what we were doing.”
And he criticised Argentinian president Mauricio Macri and the governor of Buenos Aires province, Maria Eugenia Vidal, saying: “The cops in Buenos Aires are not protected.”
Police have arrested two men, Jorge Pablo Di Blasi, 37, and Pablo Manuel Frascarelli, 38, on suspicion of being involved in Ms Espindola’s death.
A video shows Di Blasi sat at home surrounded by cops while Frascarelli was reportedly arrested in possession of a 45. caliber pistol.
It is not known if the pistol is suspected of being the murder weapon.
The incident happened only hours after another policewoman Tamara Ramirez, 26, was killed during an attempted robbery in the capital city of Buenos Aires.
After hearing screams outside her home Ms Ramirez, 26, went outside to find her father, Serafin Ramirez, also a cop, fighting with a thief. She was shot and killed by the thief who was named by police as Daniel Vargas, 18.