EL PASO, Texas - El Paso Police Officer Jonathan Molina, 29, a four-year member of the department died Friday morning at University Medical Center (UMC) as a result of the injuries he sustained when he was attacked on Sept. 25, 2012.
"Officer Molina will be sorely missed," Police Chief Greg Allen said before taking a long pause. "Excuse me. His service to the country was noted in the fact that he was in the United States Marine Corps."
On Sept. 25, Molina confronted 17-year old Juan Antonio Gonzalez and two others after observing at least one of them allegedly vandalize his car. Molina, who was off duty, identified himself as a peace officer as he attempted to detain them for further investigation, according to police officials.
Gonzalez allegedly attacked Molina and slammed him headfirst onto concrete. This slam knocked Molina unconscious and rendered him unable to protect himself. Gonzalez allegedly continued to attack Molina by repeatedly striking him in the face and head.
Witnesses immediately went to the aid of Molina and the three fled the scene.
Molina was transported to UMC for treatment of serious life threatening injuries.
The Crimes Against Persons (CAP) unit has secured a warrant of arrest for Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the offense of Capital Murder.
Gonzalez, who was still in custody at the El Paso County Detention Facility, was re-booked on this charge Friday and remains in the El Paso County Jail on a bond of $5,000,000.
"The Citizens of El Paso and the El Paso Police Department have lost a man that chose a life dedicated to serving the people of El Paso," said Allen.
El Paso Police spokesman Christopher Mears said the investigation is still ongoing.
"I don't want to say that there couldn't be changes to charges but at this point the person we're charging with his death is Gutierrez," Mears said.
Molina is a 2001 graduate of El Paso High School where he played football.
His brother said Molina joined the Marines after he felt a calling following the September 11th attacks.
Molina served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He graduated near the top of his class at the police academy and joined the El Paso Police Department four years ago.
Molina is not married and does not have children.