McAllen police investigating suspected suicide in public place

McALLEN — McAllen police say a man in his mid-20s died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday afternoon.

According to a statement released by McAllen PD Wednesday, department investigators and ICE agents were conducting an investigation of online sexual solicitation of a minor at La Vista Apartments in the 2400 block of West La Vista when the shooting occurred.

The release says a subject in the investigation went to the apartments to meet a person he thought was a minor for sexual conduct purposes.The suspect arrived at 4:07 p.m.

The man had exited the vehicle and was approaching the apartments when McAllen PD officers arrived and attempted to arrest him, the statement says. The suspect refused the officers commands and returned to his vehicle and continued to resist arrest, shoving officers.

The statement says the man then attempted to open his vehicle and pulled a handgun from a holster, firing two shots in the air and then once to the right side of his head. The man died at the scene from this self-inflicted gunshot.

The victim’s name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The suspect’s last known address is in Brownsville, the release says.

Neighbors and bystanders gathered around the parking lot Wednesday evening as a blue Ford compact SUV smeared with blood was loaded onto a wrecker.

Ramiro Ramirez, a resident of the apartment complex who witnessed the incident, said he heard multiple shots from where he was standing.

“When I turned I saw a police officer yelling ‘no, no, no, no,’ and that was when I saw him shoot himself,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez described the person who shot himself as a young man. Ramirez also said another neighbor was taken to the hospital just from witnessing the traumatic event.

Bertha Gamez, a resident of the complex and its former manager, says she was home at the time of the shooting.

“I heard three shots,” Gamez said. “I stepped outside and in two or three minutes there were policemen everywhere.”

Gamez says her upstairs neighbor was leaving the complex when she saw a woman in a red car waiting in the parking lot.

“She thought it was a new tenant and she talked to her, but it was a policewoman,” Gamez said.

Gamez says it appears that the policewoman was waiting for the man that was shot.

“She had been here since earlier. She was, I guess, waiting for him, since 12, one o’clock” Gamez said. “As soon as the truck got there, she arrested him.”

According to Gamez, the deceased’s girlfriend lives at the apartments but wasn’t home when the shooting occurred.

Monitor staff writers Mark Reagan and Raul Garcia contributed to this report.