Sheriff: Standoff in Peñitas ends in man dying by self-inflicted gunshot

Local law enforcement arrive at the scene of a barricaded subject inside a home Friday, Aug 14, 2020, in Penitas. (Joel Martinez | jmartine4@themonitor.com)

PEÑITAS — Law enforcement say one man is dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound following an hours-long standoff between him and police in Peñitas on Friday.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra says a woman walked to the Peñitas Police Department Friday, where she told officers she had been assaulted by her husband.

He says officers went to a mobile home near Military and FM 1427 where they encountered another individual who said they had been assaulted.

“The information was from the wife that he was armed in the house and he basically barricaded himself in the house,” Guerra said, noting that his office was called to assist at 12:48 p.m.

The sheriff’s office SWAT team surrounded the mobile home the man had barricaded himself in, Guerra said, along with a Texas Department of Public Safety special operations unit and Border Patrol tactical unit personnel.

“Even though there was nobody in the residence, just the individual, DPS along with one of my hostage negotiators set up communications with him and we were at it for about eight hours,” Guerra said. “The only demand that he made was he wanted to talk to his wife, which was not a good demand because we knew that he probably wanted to say goodbye to her so we weren’t going to allow that.”

Guerra said despite the attempts of negotiators and SWAT team members urging the man to leave the residence via a PA system, the man refused to exit the home and officers were losing the advantage of daylight, prompting them to act.

“We put tear gas in the residence and finally the SWAT team made a slow, methodical entry and they found him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Guerra said.

The sheriff also said the man’s wife sustained bruises and was not transported to the hospital. Peñitas police requested the sheriff’s office take over the investigation.

“My crime scene and major crimes unit have taken over the crime scene, basically contained to the mobile home,” Guerra said.