BY BERENICE GARCIA AND NAXIELY LOPEZ-PUENTE | STAFF WRITERS
Gabriel Salinas has been confirmed dead in this evening’s incident, Mission police Chief Robert Dominguez said.
Police originally responded to a domestic disturbance between Salinas, a Sullivan City commissioner, and his girlfriend.
The girlfriend, 39, was sent to McAllen Medical Center with several injuries which Dominguez called “knife slashes.”
She is currently in the ICU after undergoing surgery.
A boy, 4, had also been sent to a hospital with bleeding around his head. The chief said the child had a wound consistent with a bullet grazing, and has since been released from the hospital.
The manner of Salinas’ death remains unclear. Dominguez, however, ruled out a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and that said Salinas shot at police who returned fire.
Police negotiators attempted to speak with Salinas and encourage him out of the residence to no avail, the chief added.
Using a robot, police were able to open a door inside the residence and observe Salinas’ body with blood in the vicinity.
This ended a five-hour stand-off between police and Salinas that began with a domestic disturbance and ended in bloodshed.
Local authorities are handing off the investigation to the Texas Rangers, according to Maria Montalvo, spokesperson for DPS.
Police said they believed the suspect was down with blood in the vicinity; they have not confirmed any deaths.
Police believe the suspect is “down.”
They saw him on the floor with a profuse amount of blood.
It’s unclear who caused the injuries.
A law enforcement source says the suspect is a Sullivan City commissioner who has been previously arrested in a separate domestic violence incident.
The source identified the suspect as Gabriel Salinas, who was elected to serve as Sullivan City commissioner May 2017.
Mission assistant police Chief Jody Tittle declined to comment, but noted the activity is occurring in the 1400 block of Viejo Lane. Salinas owns a home at 1409 Viejo Lane, according to Hidalgo County property records.
The Monitor also previously reported Salinas was involved in a domestic dispute at that address Sept. 21, 2019.
During that incident, Salinas was accused of assaulting a woman.
Police investigator Art Flores said at the time the victim did not wish to file charges.
Salinas was facing assault charges, a class A misdemeanor, but Municipal Court Judge Mauro Reyna dropped the charge to a class C due to insufficient evidence and sentenced Salinas to time served. He was released the same day.
When called for comment, Salinas’ brother-in-law and campaign treasurer Oscar “Coach” Salinas, who also serves as a trustee on the La Joya school board, said he could not speak at the moment because of a “situation” he was dealing with.
Police have breached the door of the residence and are “holding.”
Tittle, an assistant police chief, said law enforcement are trying to give the suspect every opportunity to come out.
The three children previously believed to have been inside the home are not at the residence where a suspect is currently barricaded, according to police.
Two people were taken to Mission Regional Medical Center, according to Mission Mayor Armado O’Caña. One of them is a male child.
O’Caña also said a mobile triage unit for non life-threatening injuries was set up at the scene, which remains active.
Police believe there are three children inside the home where the suspect is barricaded.
Mission police officers are responding to an active shooter situation at a local residence.
Police are currently trying to evacuate neighbors because the shooter is barricaded inside his home, according to Mission Assistant Police Chief Jody Tittle. Other agencies are also assisting, including the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office.
A boy has been transported to a hospital. Tittle did not know the extent or nature of the child’s injuries.
Police came under fire at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday after responding to a domestic disturbance near Colosio Lane, just east of Bryan Road.
Mayor Armando O’Caña said officers were shot at and backup units were called.
“Supposedly it’s a family disturbance that has gone wild,” O’Caña said. “There’s an active shooter situation.”
Officers have not been wounded.