EDINBURG — As a result of the ongoing investigation into a Sunday shooting in which two men were gunned down near Donna, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office has issued an arrest warrant for the shooter, who had claimed self-defense.
The shooting took place just after 7 p.m. Sunday, when 46-year-old Maximiliano Garza Godinez fired his gun at two men he claimed had come to his home to buy roosters only to then draw guns on him and try to rob him, court records show.
Investigators have obtained a warrant for his arrest because he has prior felony convictions that disqualify him from owning a firearm, Sheriff Lupe Treviño said.
Garza has three prior drug convictions and has spent five years in prison, Treviño said.
Authorities have also obtained a warrant for Rene Rivas Villarreal, 30, who was a guest of Garza and witnessed the shooting, records show. Rivas is wanted on the charge of tampering with physical evidence.
One of the alleged robbers was identified as Jesus Antonio Mendoza Geel, 29, of Weslaco, who has several arrests and convictions for drug and theft charges, records show. The other shooting victim remains unidentified.
A preliminary autopsy report shows that both victims died from gunshot wounds, one was shot twice in the head and one twice in the chest.
Evidence collected at the scene — and the fact that the property where the shooting took place has a cockfighting ring in the back — raises concerns about the legitimacy of Perez’s self-defense claims, Treviño said.
“I’m still not convinced that the Castle Law is applicable in this case,” the sheriff said, referring to the Texas law that allows someone to use deadly force at his or her own residence in self-defense.