Suspected shooter arraigned in Weslaco man’s murder

Sergio Olivares

Posted: Monday, January 5, 2015 11:24 am

HARLINGEN — A man arrested in connection with Friday night’s fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Weslaco man at a hotel has been arraigned on a first-degree felony murder charge, police said Monday.

Sergio Olivares, 63, was formally charged under that name, but Sgt. David Osborne said police believe that he is a Mexican national using an assumed name. The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office advised that he should be charged under that name until his true identity is determined.

Osborne said police responded about 8:35 p.m. to the Harlingen Hotel and Events Center at Expressway 83 near Stuart Place Road, where shots were reportedly fired. At the hotel, officers found one woman struck in the face and upper torso with birdshot fired from a shotgun. She was treated a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A vehicle also was damaged in the shooting.

Investigators believe Olivares was living at the hotel and was confronted by Eduardo Zapata. Police said that Olivares was armed with a handgun while Zapata had a shotgun. The men exchanged gunfire in a hotel hallway, according to police, who have not determined the reason behind the altercation.

Zapata’s body was found a few hundred feet from the scene of the shooting, with the shotgun nearby, Osborne said.

While searching the area, police also found a disabled vehicle, which has led authorities to believe that others were involved in the shooting and drove from the hotel before abandoning the damaged vehicle near Dilworth Road, police said.

With assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, Olivares was caught Saturday in Brownsville, and was arrested and taken to the Harlingen City Jail.