Mission police will soon reveal more details in the overnight death of Sullivan City Commissioner Gabriel Salinas, whose body was found inside a residence where officers had responded to a domestic disturbance call Thursday night.
That call erupted into a shootout and barricade situation that turned deadly.
Police Chief Robert Dominguez confirmed in the wee hours of early Friday morning that a more than five-hour standoff with Salinas had come to an end with Salinas’ death.
A news conference at the Mission Police Department has been scheduled for noon Friday, in which authorities are expected to release additional information in the case, as circumstances remain largely unknown.
Dominguez said the domestic disturbance began Thursday evening and involved Salinas and his 39-year-old girlfriend, who along with a child was hospitalized that night with several injuries the chief described as “knife slashes.”
A 4-year-old boy was also sent to the hospital with what Dominguez said was a bullet graze, and had said the child was bleeding around his head. The boy and the girlfriend are believed to be victims of the domestic disturbance and were hospitalized at McAllen Medical Center, where he was eventually released and the woman remains in the ICU after undergoing surgery.
Her condition has not yet been made clear.
The manner of Salinas’ death also remains unclear, but Dominguez ruled out a self-inflicted gunshot wound and explained had engaged in a shootout with police after opening fire on officers.
Officers were initially called to a home in the 1400 block of Viejo Lane in Mission, where Salinas has previously been accused of assaulting a woman in September 2019.
Police investigator Art Flores said at the time the victim did not wish to file charges.
Salinas was facing a class A misdemeanor assault, but was released the same day after Municipal Court Judge Mauro Reyna dropped the charge to a class C due to insufficient evidence.
During Thursday night’s and Friday morning’s hours-long ordeal, police negotiators had attempted to speak with Salinas and encourage him out of the residence, but to no avail.
Using a mechanical device police refer to as a robot, officers sometime between 2 and 3 a.m. were able to open a door inside the residence and observe Salinas’ body with blood in the vicinity.
This ended a standoff between the suspect and police that began with a domestic disturbance and resulted in bloodshed.
Local authorities are now handing off the investigation to the Texas Rangers, according to Maria Montalvo, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Several law enforcement agencies assisted Mission police in the incident, including DPS, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office and others.