Deputies Believe Domestic Dispute Prompted School Shooting At IDEA

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Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 9:31am

NORTH OF EDINBURG - Hidalgo County deputies are investigating a school shooting at IDEA Quest Academy.

"Twenty-two year old, newly hired school teacher, here at IDEA Quest Academy, was shot at least one time by her estranged husband," said Sheriff Lupe Trevino, Hidalgo County.

It happened just after 6:30 a.m.. Preliminary reports tell us, the teacher, Apreal Gonzalez was confronted by her husband Rodney Villapardo.

Deputies believe, after an arguing, Villapardo shot Gonzalez with a 3-57 magnum in the parking lot of the school and then fled.

Trevino said that a school bus mechanic was the first one to come to the Gonzalez's aid. The mechanic rushed Gonzalez to DHR for treatment.

Gonzalez was later transported to McAllen Medical for surgery.

"She is expected to make a full recovery, I know she is with family right now, receiving medical attention," said Tom Torkelson, IDEA Founder and CEO.

As for the shooter, "We have arrested the husband, he was arrested at the corner of 907 and 107, he essentially turned himself in," said Trevino.

The total number of shots fired is still unknown.

"We will know after with forensic and evidence gathering, and once we inspect the pistol and when we talk to him. We will get a better picture with exactly how many shots were fired. But we don't believe it was more than three and at least one," said Trevino.

Fortunately, because of the early hour, no students were on campus during the shooting.

"We canceled classes for the day, and we re-routed students over to another campus and contacted parents and let them know they could come and pick up their children," said Torkelson.

It was this kind of fast thinking, the sheriff's department commends.

"I believe that the school personnel reacted appropriately. They called the authorities immediately," said Trevino.

Authorities will be questioning Villapardo sometime today to better determine his potential charges.

"I think we have an attempted murder, and we have an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and I think the aggravated assault may be a higher degree than an attempted murder so, he is facing some very serious charges," said Trevino.

Trevino said Villapardo will be arraigned in the next 48 hours.

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