10 shots fired in fatal Mission road rage murder

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Briaham Alexis Pena

A 23-year-old Mission man was arrested Tuesday after shooting at another man multiple times from his vehicle into the victim’s due to a “road rage” incident and killing him, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Briaham Alexis Pena was charged with murder for the death of Jose Cruz Jr. by shooting him eight times and striking him in the head.

At about 8:57 p.m., on April 8, Mission police officers were dispatched to 2515 W. Expressway 83 in reference to shots fired from a vehicle.

Officers observed a black 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with the lights off, partially parked on the roadway, where they found Cruz sitting in the driver’s seat with a gunshot wound to the head.

As officers rendered Cruz aid, they discovered Cruz had been shot multiple times. He was then transported to McAllen Medical Center.

Following a walk-through of the scene, officers observed the Silverado had eight bullet holes on the passenger’s side door and two bullet holes on the driver side window.

At about 10:05 p.m., on April 11, a detective received a tip through Mission Police Department Crime Stoppers regarding the homicide investigation where an anonymous caller stated that the other vehicle involved in the shooting was left abandoned at 17379 El Conejo Drive in Peñitas.

“Furthermore, the caller stated that the driver of the vehicle was a “Brian” who resides at 420 Erma Street in Mission, TX,” the affidavit said.

Officers followed up on the tip but were unable to locate the vehicle in question.

The following day, Mission police received another call regarding their investigation where they were informed that the vehicle they were looking for was hidden behind a residence located at 6003 Martina Street in Mission and that it was going to be picked up.

Once there, officers made contact with the homeowner who gave them consent to search the property where they located the 2000 blue and gray bottom trimmed Dodge Dakota behind the residence without license plates.

A vin check of the vehicle revealed that the vehicle was registered to Pena. Officers also found a spent casing on the floorboard of the passenger’s side in plain view.

Authorities were provided consent to check the residence’s surveillance cameras which showed a gray Jeep registered to Pena’s stepfather, Salvador Salinas, followed by the Dakota.

“In the video, a male and female subject are observed arriving in the Jeep, while a male subject is driving the blue and gray Dodge pick-up which they proceeded to conceal in the back of the residence within the property,” the affidavit said.

Once reviewing the video, authorities impounded the Dodge Dakota for further investigation purposes.

At approximately 7:07 p.m. on Sunday, authorities made contact with Pena’s sister, Caitlyn Salinas, at the Rio Grande City Port of Entry who voluntarily provided a statement and identified her dad and mom, Salvador Salinas and Luisa Pena, as well as her brother after showing her the surveillance footage.

That same day, detectives made contact with Salvado Salinas at the same port of entry where he provided a voluntary statement implicating Pena in the shooting.

“Furthermore, Mr. Salinas informed that after the shooting, his stepson Briaham Alexis Pena … told him that he had shot at a truck several times over a road rage incident, in self-defense, and then left the scene after the shooting,” the affidavit said.

Salvador Salinas then informed authorities that Pena had already crossed to Mexico and was in Diaz Ordaz, Tamaulipas.

At about 1:39 p.m., the next day, Pena turned himself in at the Rio Grande City Port of Entry and was then transported to the Mission Police Department for voluntary statement where he agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

“In the statement Briaham Alexis Pena … then implicated himself as the shooter and stated that he had shot at the vehicle but didn’t remember how many times until the victim stopped messing with him over a road rage,” the affidavit said.

That same day, investigators were able to recover a 9 mm Glock handgun with the assistance of Pena.

He remains held in the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center on a $2 million bond.