Mercedes resident arrested for murder in Tuesday robbery, shooting

Juan Jesus Hernandez

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office has made a second arrest in the shooting death of 32-year-old Mercedes resident Emanuel Alvarado.

Sgt. Frank Medrano said investigators have charged 21-year-old Mercedes resident Juan Jesus Hernandez with Emanuel’s death.

The man’s brother, Noel Alvarado, drove him to Knapp Medical Center on Tuesday after the men attempted to steal drugs and money from a residence in rural Weslaco.

A man named Johnothon Gonzalez, 26, who lived in the home, disarmed Emanuel and shot him, according to a news release.

Noel is also charged with murder for his brother’s death and is being held on a $1 million bond. Hernandez also received a $1 million bond on the murder charge.

Deputies arrived at the hospital to investigate at about 12:49 a.m., a probable cause affidavit read.

“Noel took Sheriff’s Investigators to the location where the aggravated robbery took place,” according to the charging document.

The residence where the shooting took place is at 9920 N. Saltillo Circle, in rural Weslaco.

When investigators executed a search warrant, they “observed there to be blood and bullet holes consistent with Noel’s account of the aggravated robbery and shooting of his brother, Emanuel.”

The probable cause affidavit states that surveillance video from Knapp Medical Center shows Noel arriving with Emanuel “and other male individuals.”

Authorities have not said publicly how many people were involved in the robbery.

Investigators also recovered surveillance video from a business on Mile 11 North and FM 88 “where Noel, Emanuel, and other male individuals stopped before going to the hospital; all consistent with Noel’s account of the incident.”

Gonzalez, the robbery target, has been charged with failure to report a felony resulting in death and tampering with physical evidence. He has been released on $40,000 in bonds, jail records show.

He’s accused of removing bullet casings from the scene.

In a voluntary statement, Gonzalez told investigators “that several armed men came into his house the night before and that after disarming one of them, shot him with his own gun. Johnothon added that he shot back with his .45 caliber handgun and then left along with his family,” the probable cause affidavit stated.

The man’s mother, however, told investigators that Gonzalez stayed behind at the residence and was there when she returned the following morning.

“(The mother) added that she did not see any bullet casings when she returned the following morning,” the probable cause affidavit stated.

Investigators also noted that the number of casings they recovered did not match the number of bullet holes they examined.

The alleged organizer of the fatal robbery, 30-year-old Isidro Rubiel Juarez, is wanted on a charge of murder and should be considered armed and dangerous, authorities said in a new release.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about the case to call the sheriff’s office at (956) 383-8114 or to submit an anonymous tip through the Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers Hotline at (956) 668-TIPS (8477).

Anonymous tips can also be submitted through the smartphone application “P3 TIPS.”