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Posted: 1/6/2003 3:20:51 AM EDT
By Macarena Hernandez

San Antonio Express-News

Web Posted : 01/06/2003 12:00 AM

EDINBURG — Gunmen dressed as cops barged into two homes in a rural neighborhood here early Sunday, killing six men after demanding drugs, money and weapons, local authorities said.

The home invasion robbery claimed the lives of two sets of brothers from different families — the only four victims that had been identified by late evening, although authorities were not releasing their names.

"We are still trying to identify the other individuals (and) because of the gunshot wounds they received, it is very difficult right now," said Sgt. Rey Ramirez Sr., chief of detectives for the Edinburg Police Department. "They got shot in the head. They sprayed the bodies. We are looking at some type of weapon that is possibly fully automatic."

The two old wood-frame homes where the shootings took place were in the same lot, in a neighborhood in the city's Northeast Side. The victims were all men between 20 and 32 years old.

In one home, the mother of two of the victims, ages 24 and 32, was tied up with electrical cords along with one of her sons. The only one not gunned down, she called 911 after the killers fled.

She told police they demanded drugs, weapons and money before spraying the men with bullets, and she said one of the killers wore a ski mask and a garment with the word "police" printed on it.

Ramirez, who said there might have been four to five assailants, added they had no suspects as of Sunday night.

Police say the fact that gunmen wore either a T-shirt or jacket bearing the word "police" is not uncommon here. [b]In the past four to five years they have [i]reported an increase[/i] in pseudo-cop incidents.[/b]

"This has been one of the most horrible crimes in my 22 years of law enforcement here in our city. This has been one of the worse homicides I have worked," Ramirez said. "If we do catch anyone, they will be charged with capital murder."


A side note to folks, this could happen to you, some gang banga' or associate needs just to notice you at the range with lots of cool guns, follow you almost home, once they know what your vehicle looks like & the general 'hood where you live, maybe your tag number. Then they know where they can get free guns. Kick in your door wearing ATF T'shirts and ski masks............ Stay alert, stay suspicious always.
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 3:41:24 AM EDT
Good thing those citizens didnt RESIST ARREST! I mean the cops raid everyones house eventualy right....right?

Link Posted: 1/6/2003 3:44:30 AM EDT
This is why I will not hesitate to shoot any person in my home that I positively identify as someone unknown to me.  I don't do anything illegal except exceeding the speed limit, so there is no legitimite reason for law enforcement to raid my residence.  I really don't care who they are; I'm not going to risk my life by getting into a conversation with them.

Any thoughts as to whether or not the home invaders here are off duty cops?  Don't get high & mighty with me, either.  Some people are bad; some cops are bad.  Giving bad people power makes them worse.
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 9:20:09 AM EDT
a garment with the word "police" printed on it.
View Quote

That's more than you'll see the local police wear!  In the two raids I saw, they wore blue jeans and dark T-shirts.  The T-shirts said POLICE on the back, but were covered-up with their vests.  On one sleeve (might have been two), it said police.  There was nothing that you could see from the front that said police or looked like a badge.  It looks like they're just daring someone to try to defend themselves against what they think would be a burglar.z
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 9:55:05 AM EDT
It's pretty common for drug dealers to rip off other drug dealers this way.

Drug dealers, knowing they are criminals, expect to be raided. So when someone kicks in their door they are not surprised, and they assume the intruders are police, even when a law abiding person would clearly recognize they are not.
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 10:01:50 AM EDT
Yeah - I'm all broken up about some drug dealers killing some other drug dealers.  Boo-hoo.   [;)]

What I'm curious about is, HOW OFTEN does a "home invasion" occur in a nice suburban neighborhood in a low-crime area - where the perp is armed and it results in the death of the homeowners? I feel like a lot of the reports of deadly "home invasions" are kind of like HCI and Brady talking about "children" being killed.  In reality a lot of those "children" are 17 year-old gang-bangers killing each other, and I wonder how mnay of the "home invasions" are feuding gangs killing each other in the Robert Taylor homes and Cabrini Green?

I have no idea - does anyone else know?

Link Posted: 1/6/2003 10:13:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 10:16:38 AM EDT
Post a link to the story.

Link Posted: 1/6/2003 10:18:55 AM EDT
These guys assumed room temperature about 65 miles from where I live, and maybe 3-5 miles from the county courthouse.  It is not uncommon for pseudocops to work like this, but the tactic works BECAUSE of no-knock raids and the poor track record in regards to getting the right address.  Now one thing that puzzles me is why the lack of return fire?  If the dead men were baddies, then just about all baddies down here carry!  Here where I live, Mexican gangs will routinely kidnap rivals/and or "rich" people for ransom, and ALWAYS wear raid jackets with the initials of either the mexican AG or the "secret" police.  Makes protecting oneself interesting for folks living over there, you really cannot be sure who it is until it is too late.  Don't get your hopes up on this one getting solved anytime soon, too many reluctant witnesses.
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 10:29:20 AM EDT
here is the story:

Six Slaughtered in Edinburg - - Shooting may be work of assassin, police say

By Travis M. Whitehead,

Colton Joseph Chapman

and Mary Moreno

The Monitor

EDINBURG — Six men were shot to death in what police said may have been a professional hit early Sunday in two homes on Monte Cristo Road in far north Edinburg.

The shootings appear to be the work of a professional hit man, said Edinburg Police Det. Rey Ramirez.

“If it’s a hired hit, they’re not going to leave anything behind that will link us back to them,” Ramirez said. However, spent shell casings from high-powered weapons were found at the scene. Ramirez would not say exactly what type of weapons they came from or if automatic weapons were used.

Edinburg police received a call reporting shots fired at about 1 a.m. in the 2900 block of East Monte Cristo Road, said Police Chief Quirino Muñoz.

“When we got there, we found a multiple murder-type situation,” Muñoz said. “A possible witness said that an individual wearing a mask and jacket with police lettering on it was demanding weapons and drugs.”

Muñoz said at least three people took part in the massacre, which occurred on a large lot near the Monte Cristo Golf Course with two wooden houses, one smaller than the other. Muñoz said police will need another two days to identify all the bodies. However, he said the men ranged in age from their 20s to their early 30s.

“Five of them were in the smaller house and one was in the larger house,” Muñoz said. “All had gunshot wounds, and some had multiple gunshot wounds.”

Justice of the Peace Charlie Espinoza pronounced all six dead at the scene and ordered autopsies.

Muñoz said the victims were up and moving about the houses when they were gunned down.

“They might have been there visiting, not a party necessarily,” Muñoz said. “There was at least one set of brothers, and there may be another set. Two of the victims were residents. Some of the victims were known to police.”

The mother of two of the victims was tied up in the larger house before the killings began, said Det. Ramirez. One of her slain sons was also tied up with electrical wire in another room of the same house.

Ramirez would not reveal the name of the mother or her sons.

However, Lupita Huerta, 53, said two of her nephews — brothers Ray Hidalgo and Jerry Ramos — were among the victims. Their mother, Rosie Ramos, was in the larger house and was tied up by one or two assailants, Huerta said.

Huerta said she was in San Antonio when the killings occurred. She knew something was wrong when she checked her cell phone in her car and saw she had missed 15 calls, she said.

“Why would anyone want to come in and start shooting,” Huerta asked.

She said there had been no real problems with Ramos or her two sons.

“Everyone has family problems, you know,” she said. “Jerry called us last night and said he’d like to barbecue. Jerry is the baby of her boys.”

The killings could be revenge-related, Ramirez said.

“We don’t have a motive,” Ramirez said. “Just because they came in demanding weapons and drugs doesn’t mean it’s drug related.”

Some of the victims were shot in the head, leaving their faces disfigured and making it difficult to identify them.

Four were killed inside the small house, one was killed outside the small house, and the last man killed was one of Rosie Ramos’ sons in the big house, Ramirez said.

Police are looking for one of the victim’s vehicles, which is missing. The vehicle is described as a red Ford F150 pickup truck with a Tasmanian devil on the front license plate.

Muñoz would not speculate on a connection between these killings and the killings of four women in Donna in September. Hidalgo County Sheriff’s deputies have still made no arrests in the case.

Ramirez said Edinburg had five homicides in 2002. Five days into 2003, there have now been six homicides in Edinburg.

“It’s the worst homicide we’ve had here in Edinburg,” Ramirez said.

At the crime scene Sunday afternoon, Edinburg police escorted Rosie Ramos back into the house to retrieve some clothes. As she neared the door, she broke down, overcome by the sudden, brutal loss of her two sons.

Anyone with information should call the Edinburg Police Department at 383-7411 or Edinburg Crime Stoppers at 383-TIPS.
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 11:07:46 AM EDT
Yet another serious unintended consequence of the war on some drugs.
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 5:36:39 PM EDT
Druggies assuming room temp because of other druggies bothers me not one bit.

Much ado made about the t-shirt on one guy by the usual suspects.

Are you aware he more than likely bought that t-shirt from A GUNSHOW?

Where the heck else would he get one?  Silkscreen it himself?

At the local Saxet show every month you can buy FBI, ATF, DEA, POLICE, SHERIFF, and CUSTOMS t-shirts, 9 dollars each.  Do you think these vendors ask for ID?  Not hardly, and guys,  they sell a lot of them.

No skin off my nose if some dumbass thinks police raid with only one guy identified and armed with friggin SKS's.

BTW:  I have never heard of any of these where the "victims" were not just as dirty as the "suspects".  Put it down as an occupational hazard.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 3:18:36 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Yeah - I'm all broken up about some drug dealers killing some other drug dealers.  Boo-hoo.   [;)]

What I'm curious about is, HOW OFTEN does a "home invasion" occur in a nice suburban neighborhood in a low-crime area - where the perp is armed and it results in the death of the homeowners? I feel like a lot of the reports of deadly "home invasions" are kind of like HCI and Brady talking about "children" being killed.  In reality a lot of those "children" are 17 year-old gang-bangers killing each other, and I wonder how mnay of the "home invasions" are feuding gangs killing each other in the Robert Taylor homes and Cabrini Green?

I have no idea - does anyone else know?

View Quote

Good point.  Many of the drug gangs employ "children"  because they generally are not tried as adults when caught.  As a technicality, unless charged as an adult after a lot of rigamarole, anyone under 18 is considered an "infant" under the law (some states may be different).  Shows how the statistics can be rigged.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 11:22:03 AM EDT
here is todays story, note the uh, clean living these gents indulged in.
Scene offers few clues

By Mary Moreno

The Monitor

EDINBURG —Police on Monday identified the six men gunned down at a home invasion on Monte Cristo Road early Sunday morning.

The victims are Jimmy Almendarez, 22; Jerry Eugene Hidalgo, 24; Ray Hidalgo, 30; Juan Delgado Jr., 32; Juan Delgado III, 20; and Ruben Rolando Castillo, 32. All have Edinburg home addresses.

Police on Monday, however, didn’t seem closer to naming a suspect in the mass slayings. And officials hinted there was little evidence to help find the perpetuators of what they called the worst crime in Edinburg’s history.

“Individuals come and commit these types of crime and leave very little for anyone to follow up on,” said Edinburg Police Chief Quirino Muñoz.

The men were brutally gunned down at about 1 a.m. Sunday after several men — at least one of whom wore a ski mask and a jacket with the word “police” on it — burst into the small shack and opened fire with a high-powered weapon.

Four men were killed in the shack, and one more was killed just outside. Jerry Hidalgo and his mother were bound with an electrical cord in separate rooms of the main house, but only Jerry was killed.

Police were mystified as to why the assailants held back on their ferocious assault.

“We wonder why she survived,” Muñoz said. “There are several things (about this incident) that mystify us.”

Most of the gunshot wounds were to the head and left the men severely disfigured, which hampered police efforts to identify them.

On Monday, yellow crime scene tape remained draped to the barbed wire fence that encircles the property, warning people to stay out. Muñoz said they wanted to be sure they had gathered every piece of evidence at the scene before releasing it.

The assault on the six men was loud and quick, according to neighbors. The rapid gunfire sounded above the television one neighbor was watching, and the anguished cries of the Hidalgos’ mother also reached neighbors. Yet police weren’t called to the scene until the lone survivor freed her hands sufficiently to dial for help.

“Normally you would expect when you hear something alarming like that, that someone would call the police,” Muñoz said.

By the time police arrived, the assailants were gone and police were left with little to track them down. Muñoz admitted that even the number of assailants, which police believe to be between three and five, is “speculative.”

Police also weren’t yet clear on a motive. The killers rushed in demanding drugs and weapons, but that might not be the true motive, police said. Muñoz would not say if any drugs or weapons were found at the scene.

“We’re not ruling out any type of motive,” Muñoz said.

The Ford F-150 pickup that police said Sunday was missing was located by Monday, and Muñoz said it had nothing to do with the homicides.

Although police had little to go on, Muñoz said he was hopeful this latest multiple homicide wouldn’t go unsolved, as have the previous two that have taken place recently in the Rio Grande Valley. The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department hasn’t arrested anyone in connection with April’s triple slaying outside of Edinburg, or September’s quadruple killing outside of Donna.

Late Monday, investigators said they were staying close to the phone hoping that someone would call with the tip that leads them to the masked assailants.

“It’s hard to believe that no one saw or knows anything,” Muñoz said.

Some of the victims had prior convictions for misdemeanor drug possession and other crimes. Jerry Hidalgo had been jailed four times and convicted for burglary and aggravated assault on a public servant, according to Hidalgo County records.

His brother, Ray Hidalgo, had been jailed eight times. He was arrested by Edinburg police at least four times and convicted at least six times on charges including theft, possession of marijuana and burglary.

Castillo had been jailed seven times and convicted on charges of driving with a suspended license and aggravated assault, twice for driving while intoxicated, and possession of marijuana, according to Hidalgo County records.

Juan Delgado Jr. has been in the county jail five times and was convicted of possession of marijuana, driving while intoxicated and assault.

Juan Delgado III didn’t appear on county records.

Almendarez’s background information wasn’t available.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 11:36:56 AM EDT
how about some links to these stories?
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 12:36:22 PM EDT
The story in the Edinburg Monitor can be found at [url]http://www.themonitor.com/NewsPub/News/Stories/2003/01/06/10419102741.shtml[/url].

I don't know the link to yesterday's story in the San Antonio Express-News, but today's story can be found at [url]http://news.mysanantonio.com/story.cfm?xla=saen&xlb=180&xlc=913947&xld=180[/url].
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