Sheriff’s office charges Peñitas man with murder over armed disturbance at Mission Stripes

Jose Maria Victoria

The Hidalgo County Sheriff Office has arrested a Peñitas man they say shot and killed one man and shot another during a Thursday afternoon fight between armed men at a Stripes convenience store in Mission.

The sheriff office’s Special Operations Division and the Peñitas Police Department executed a search warrant Saturday at 21-year-old Jose Maria Victoria Jr.’s residence and arrested him without incident, according to a Facebook post.

He is charged with murder and attempted murder and received a total of $2 million in bonds.

He is accused of killing 22-year-old Leonardo Veliz and shooting a 21-year-old man who the sheriff’s office has not identified.

The investigation leading to Maria’s arrest came after deputies responded to the Mission Stripes store at FM 492 and Highway 107 over the report of a disturbance.

“Upon arrival, Sheriff’s Deputies met with a witness who stated they observed several men armed with handguns fighting in the parking lot of the Stripes Store, before the suspects drove away at a high rate of speed,” the post states.

Deputies also responded to another location in the area of 6 Mile Line Road and Bentsen Palm Drive after a motorist called authorities to report finding two men with gunshot wounds bleeding inside a vehicle, according to the post.

The sheriff’s office says the motorist took Veliz to the hospital where he died. The second shooting victim is being treated at a hospital and is in stable but critical condition, the sheriff’s office says.

Investigators arrested three others on tampering or fabricating physical evidence charges over allegations they assisted in hiding the firearms used in the shooting.

Rolando Tovar Sanchez, Angel Mata and Jonathan Mora

They are 21-year-old Peñitas resident Rolando Tovar Sanchez, 18-year-old Mission resident Angel Mata and 19-year-old Jonathan Mora, whose last known address is not listed in online jail records.

The trio received each received a $75,000 bond.

The homicide investigation is ongoing and the sheriff’s office asks anyone with information to call the department at (956) 383-8114 or, if tipsters wish to remain anonymous, to call Crime Stoppers at (956) 668-TIPS (8477) or submit an anonymous tip through the smart phone application P3 TIPS.