Michael Gracyzk - Associated Press
Rodriguez, who had dropped all appeals and volunteered for lethal injection, apologized profusely.
“I'm sorry, so sorry,” he said.
Outside the prison, several dozen police officers stood at attention while the execution was carried out, their hands clasped in front of them.
He was the eighth convicted killer executed this year in the nation's busiest capital punishment state and the fourth this month. Another is set for next week. He was the first of the six surviving “Texas 7” band to be put to death.
“It was headed straight for him,” Shook said. “So he was right in front of him and firing directly at him.”
“I'm glad we got caught, so no one else would get hurt,” Rodriguez said from death row.
His five remaining accomplices — George Rivas, Randy Halprin, Donald Newbury, Joseph Garcia and Patrick Murphy — joined him on death row. Appeals for each remain in the courts and none has an execution date.
“Our police family suffered a devastating loss through Aubrey's ultimate sacrifice.”
Hawkins' wife, Lori, was scheduled to be among the people watching Rodriguez die.
“The hardest thing is the constant presence of it,” she said. “It's not like there's one person involved. There are six.”
She attended the first couple trials but then stopped.
“It was like reliving it every two years,” she said.
She had been married to the officer for four years, then at age 27 became a widow. She has since remarried.
“I had to move on,” she said.
“It was stupid,” Rodriguez said.