Thursday, March 26, 2009


The Rio Grande City Police Department is searching for a 39-year-old illegal alien in connection with the murder of a Rio Grande City resident early Saturday morning and the subsequent kidnapping of a passenger inside the murder victim’s car.
Tomas Padilla, 32, of Rio Grande City died almost instantly after being shot at least four times shortly before 3 a.m. Saturday at a residence on Monroe Street. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:55 a.m. by Justice of the Peace Salvador Zarate.
RGCPD Sergeant Detective Roberto Ramirez indicated Monday afternoon that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Rodolfo DeLeon Gonzalez. He noted that two other suspects are also being sought. One suspect is nicknamed “Sobrino” and the other suspect has the nickname “Morro.”
Ramirez declared, “It is our understanding that Gonzalez does have a past criminal history.” He stressed, “We are attempting to find out the full names of the other two suspects.”
The detective noted, “On Saturday, March 21 at roughly 3:35 a.m., officers were dispatched to 335 East Monroe Street in reference to a man that had been shot. When officers arrived, they went inside a residence and found a man’s body lying in a pool of blood. He was lying face down and was already deceased.”
“The suspects had fled through the rear door of the residence,” indicated Ramirez. “We are currently looking for three individuals…All three individuals are illegal aliens.”
He explained, “The victim called his ex-girlfriend at around 2:30 a.m. and said he wanted to see her. He entered the inside of the residence and got into an argument and scuffle with the three suspects, who were sleeping on the living room floor. Four or five shots were fired, with all hitting his (the victim’s) body.”
The detective stated, “We didn’t find a weapon. We found four casings from a .38 caliber handgun. The shots were fired at close range; it was a small room.”
“We don’t yet know what the argument was about; eventually the argument turned to fighting,” declared Ramirez. “Two women residing in the house heard the argument and the shots.”
Ramirez added, “When the suspects fled through the rear door, they came across Padilla’s vehicle in the alleyway. The motor of the vehicle was running. There was a young adult male in the front seat. One of the suspects placed a pistol against the man’s neck…They (then) took off in the vehicle.”
Ramirez noted that “the car driven away from the scene of the shooting was a silver Chrysler passenger vehicle.”
The investigator continued, “One subject still had a gun against the victim’s neck (as the vehicle sped away)…All three suspects had separate handguns…They drove to see of the bridge was still open. They went on a gravel road east of Rio Grande City and forced the man in the back seat to get in the front seat and drive, with the gun still being placed against his neck.”
“They (then) drove east toward Mission and McAllen on Highway 83, got off the freeway, drove several miles north of U.S. 83 and stopped at a residence that was dark,” added Ramirez. “The suspects told the man to move away quickly from the residence or he would be shot. The man then drove away as quickly as possible and made it back to Rio Grande City.”
Ramirez emphasized, “Right now we have a homicide and a kidnapping.”
The detective noted, “One of the suspects sustained some kind of cut and was bleeding (during the abduction and flight from Rio Grande City).”
Ramirez stressed that the investigation into the murder and subsequent kidnapping is continuing. He said that persons with knowledge about the two incidents are strongly encouraged to call RGC Crimestoppers at 487-8477 or the RGCPD at 487-8892. All information will be kept confidential.
Ramirez noted that federal agencies are assisting the RGCPD in its investigation of the two violent episodes.

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