Trial date set in Palmview H-E-B killing

A 28-year-old Mission man charged with opening fire inside a Palmview H-E-B in late 2016 is scheduled for trial in late January.

State District Judge Fernando Mancias set the date for Jan. 20 in the case of Raul Lopez, who is accused of murder, three counts of criminal attempted murder and a count of attempted capital murder of multiple persons after the Nov. 28, 2016, shooting inside the grocery store at Goodwin Road and U.S. Expressway 83.

Lopez, who called 9-1-1 after the shooting, is accused of killing 48-year-old Mario Puliod and injuring 37-year-old Rafael Ramirez-Martinez, 51-year-old Frailan Garza and 33-year-old Billy Joe Martinez.

His attorney, O.Rene Flores, informed the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office in October that he is planning an insanity defense.

That court filing doesn’t reveal much about the defense, but former Palmview Police Chief Christopher Barrera said after his arrest that Lopez confessed and told investigators that “everyone was out to get him” and that he appeared to be “paranoid.”

On the night of the shooting, Lopez had been performing inventory during the early morning hours when after clocking out, he returned to the store with a 9mm handgun and fired 15 shots into a dark-tinted window.

Lopez apparently told investigators that he believed the window was bulletproof and that no one was hurt, Barrera said at the time.

He remains in jail on $1.9 million in bonds and appeared in court Thursday.

Family members of the victim were in attendance.