MISSION, TX – On Thursday, October 14, 2021, at 3:32 P.M., the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Stripes Store, located at FM 492 and HWY 107 in Mission, Texas, regarding a disturbance.
Upon arrival, Sheriff’s Deputies met with witnesses who stated they observed several men armed with handguns fighting in the parking lot of the Stripes Store, before the suspects drove away at a high rate of speed.
Sheriff’s Deputies also responded to a second location in the area of 6 Mile Line Road and Bentsen Palm Drive after receiving a call from a passing motorist, who reported finding two men who appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds, bleeding inside their vehicle.
The passing motorist assisted the victim, 22-year-old, Leonardo Veliz by taking him to the hospital where he was later pronounced deceased. The second victim, a 21-year-old man is currently being treated at a local hospital and is in stable but critical condition.
Through the course of the investigation, Sheriff’s Investigators identified 21-year-old, Jose Maria Victoria Jr., as the suspect who murdered Leonardo Veliz and shot the second male victim. On Friday, October 15, 2021, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Division (SWAT) with the assistance of the Penitas Police Department executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence, where he was taken into custody without incident.
Three additional arrests have also been made which include 21-year-old, Rolando Tovar Sanchez, 18-year-old, Angel Mata, and 19-year-old, Jonathan Mora. These suspects assisted in hiding the firearms used in this offense.
Today, Justice of the Peace Jason Pena Precinct 5, Place 1 arraigned all four suspects involved in this case. Jose Maria Victoria Jr., was charged with 1st Degree Murder and 2nd Degree Criminal Attempt Murder, bonds were set at $1,000,000 dollars each. The other three suspects Tovar, Mata, and Mora were charged with 3rd Degree Felony, Tampering/Fabricating Physical Evidence and their bonds have been set at $75,000 dollars each.