Former Zapata Co. Sheriff Weighs in on Recent Fatal Shooting

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ZAPATA - A former Zapata County sheriff hopes an arrest will happen in the recent Falcon Lake fatal shooting.

Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr. was in office when the last fatal shooting happened six years ago. David Hartley was killed on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake in 2010. The case has yet to be resolved.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to Gonzalez about the shooting that happened two weeks ago. He said the man killed was probably at the wrong place at the wrong time.

 “Falcon Lake is very safe. Falcon Lake is a very good lake to fish, just don’t go to Mexico,” he said.

Gonzalez is familiar with the area, a place largely know for heavy drug trafficking. The lake is also divided by an imaginary line. Half of the lake is in the U.S. and the other is in Mexico.

 That side is controlled by a Mexican drug cartel.

“If something were to ever happen over there, our government, our country, city, state or whatever cannot go out there and do anything,” he said.

The Zapata County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Texas Rangers, is leading the investigation of the recent shooting.

Oscar Eduardo Garza died after being shot early December when he was fishing on the lake with his friend. The 26-year-old and his friend were just feet away from where the invisible line divides the U.S. and Mexico.

Investigators said the two men had exchanged words with some people aboard another boat. They saw what appeared to be a weapon and they sped off. Garza was hit and died on the boat. His friend was able to swim to a buoy and survived.

Authorities said the other boat may have gone back to Mexico. However, they determined the shooting happened in the U.S.

“There should be no excuse for our government not to look into what really may have happened,” Gonzalez said.

He said information will eventually come forward, just like in the Hartley case.

“Our government will find out what happened, who did it. And it’s just going to be a matter of putting things together and packaging up evidence to be able to prosecute those individuals,” he said.

The former Zapata County sheriff said he hopes investigators can soon make an arrest in the case.

Count on CHANNEL 5 NEWS to bring you the latest on this case. 


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