Trial inching closer for accused Palmview H-E-B shooter

PALM VIEW,Tx- Palmview, Hidalgo County Sheriff's office and other law enforecement personel at the HEB Palmview Monday morning Nov.28,2106. Police have arrested one suspect in connection to a drive-by shooting that left one person dead and three injured, according to police. The shooting happened about 3 a.m. at the HEB located at 1840 West Palma Vista Dr. One person died at the scene and three others were rushed to the hospital in critical condition, according to Palmview Police Chief Chris Barrera. Photo by Delcia Lopez dlopez@themonitor.ocm

A 30-year-old man who has spent more than 1,000 days in jail over accusations he opened fire at an H-E-B in late 2016, killing one and injuring three, is drawing closer to his day in court.

Raul Lopez, whose attorney is pursuing an insanity defense, appeared in court Thursday morning and received a continuance on his Jan. 21 trial date.

His attorney, O. Rene Flores, said he is still waiting on a medical report, which was delayed because of the holidays.

Prosecutor Roxanna Salinas was not opposed to the continuance and the parties will meet on Jan. 21 where state District Judge Fernando Mancias is expected to set a new trial date.

Lopez is accused of walking up to four square, dark-tinted windows at an H-E-B in Palmview on Nov. 28, 2016, and firing 15 shots from a 9mm handgun, killing 48-year-old Mario Pulido and injuring Rafael Ramirez-Martinez, Frailan Garza and Billy Joe Martinez.

The suspect had worked at the H-E-B and was charged with murder, three counts of criminal attempted murder and a count of attempted capital murder of multiple persons.

He’s accused of firing the shots after clocking out early that morning.

Lopez, who called 9-1-1, apparently confessed, telling investigators that “everyone was out to get him,” former Palmview Police Chief Christopher Barrera said at the time.

The Mission man also told investigators that he believed the window was bulletproof and that no one was hurt, the former chief said at the time, describing Lopez as “paranoid.”

When he was arraigned after being indicted, Lopez told former state District Judge Rudy Delgado that he had been declared mentally incompetent.

During his last two hearings, Lopez has remained quiet.

He remains jailed on $1.9 million in bonds.