Updated 3:55 p.m.
Ricardo Cepeda Jr., the off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of shooting his girlfriend in Edinburg on Sunday, was arraigned in municipal court Monday afternoon.
Cepeda, 33, faces one count of attempted murder and two counts of abandoning or endangering a child. He is currently being held on $800,000 bond.
Ricardo Cepeda Jr., 33, walked into the Edinburg Municipal Court for his arraignment on attempted murder and endangering a child charges. No word from CBP on his employment status with Border Patrol. Cepeda was arrested Sunday. pic.twitter.com/w1kfikNZyY
— Molly Smith (@smithmollyk) March 4, 2019
Police here have identified the off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent who was arrested Sunday in connection with the shooting of his girlfriend.
Ricardo Cepeda Jr., 33, is facing charges of endangering a child and attempted murder stemming from an incident that occurred outside a residence on 3322 Zoe St., Edinburg police lieutenant Oscar Treviño said during a news conference Monday.
Treviño said officers with the Edinburg Police Department responded to the home at around 3 a.m. Sunday in reference to a woman who had been shot, and upon arrival found the victim, identified as Edinburg resident Brenda Hernandez, 34, inside a vehicle with gunshot wounds to her back and upper torso. There were two men in the vicinity of the vehicle who were rendering aid at the time, Treviño said.
The lieutenant and spokesman for the Edinburg PD also said Hernandez had been shot with a .40 caliber weapon, and that she identified her boyfriend, Cepeda, as the shooter and believed he had taken their 1-year-old child.
After searching the residence, however, the child was found unharmed. The endangering a child charge Cepeda faces in addition to attempted murder is for allegedly holding the 1-year-old during the incident.
“… What was disturbing is that she (Hernandez) reported that Cepeda was holding the child at the same time he was discharging the weapon toward her,” Treviño said, later adding that Cepeda allegedly shot Hernandez when she tried to end their relationship.
Hernandez’s injuries are not life-threatening, and she is currently “doing well” recovering in a hospital, according to the lieutenant.
Weslaco police assisted Sunday morning in apprehending the suspect, who is expected to be arraigned at 3 p.m. today, according to Treviño, who also referred to the matter as “an isolated incident” that “should in no way reflect negatively against our U.S. Border Patrol agents.”
“These men and women put their lives on the line every day to protect our nation…” Treviño said.
Referring to the domestic violence incident as “tragic,” Treviño also said Edinburg police “does everything in its power to deter these kinds of crimes.”
Cepeda has had a previous run-in with law enforcement, having been arrested on a driving while intoxicated charge in January 2016 by McAllen police. Hidalgo County Court-at-Law No. 4 Judge Fred Garza dismissed Cepeda’s class B misdemeanor charge in March 2017 at the request of the district attorney’s office, according to district court records. The motion to dismiss notes the reason for dismissal as “alternate resolution, and completed alcohol classes.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated to include more details from the investigation and to correct the caliber of weapon used in the shooting.
See the news conference
We’re live at Edinburg Police Department for a news conference about Sunday’s arrest of an off-duty Border Patrol agent on an attempted murder charge.
Posted by The Monitor on Monday, March 4, 2019