McAllen police ID man who shot himself before arrest

Police at the scene of a shooting at La Vista Apartments in McAllen Wednesday. McAllen PD stated in a release that Eloy Antonio Cruz Jr., 25, shot and killed himself when officers attempted to arrest him.

McAllen police arrested at least one other man on charges of online solicitation of minor at an apartment complex where a Brownsville man shot and killed himself Wednesday afternoon as authorities tried to arrest him for soliciting a minor.

Eloy Antonio Cruz, a 25-year-old Brownsville resident, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the parking lot of the La Vista Apartments as police investigators and federal agents conducting an investigation of online sexual solicitation of a minor attempted to arrest him as he arrived to have sex with someone he thought was a minor, police have said.

A press release states that after police approached Cruz, the man ran back to his vehicle and tried to open its door before pulling out a handgun from a holster, firing two shots in the air and then once to the right side of his head.

The incident occurred a block away from McAllen High School.

Just days before, authorities arrested 29-year-old McAllen resident Ricardo Dario Ramos and charged him with online solicitation of a minor and unlawful carrying of a weapon at the La Vista Apartments.

“Said location is a real address with a vacant apartment and was predetermined specifically for this detail,” a probable cause affidavit for Ramos’ arrest states.

That document states that a McAllen detective with the department’s Sex Offender Registration Unit on Monday was working an undercover chat detail on the social media application, Whisper, using an undercover name of a “TX Gina” from McAllen.

The manner of Ramos’ arrest is similar to the attempted arrest of Cruz.

When Ramos arrived at the apartment complex, authorities approached him, briefly interviewed him and arrested him.

Unlike Cruz, Ramos complied.

He has since bonded out of jail.

The McAllen Police Department confirmed Thursday afternoon that it had been conducting an investigation into the solicitation of minors from Monday to Wednesday.

In addition to Ramos, police also arrested 24-year-old Palmhurst resident Daquan Lamout Powell and 26-year-old Houston resident Brennan Tuff Hales on charges of online solicitation of a minor.

Authorities declined to discuss the role of the La Vista Apartments in the operation.

mreagan@themonitor.com