2 shot, killed outside Pharr school

2 shot, killed outside Pharr school

POSTED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 5:55pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 6:37pm

 Two people are dead after a shooting outside a school Monday night.

It happened in the parking lot of Dr. William Long Elementary in Pharr, sometime after the school's open house ended around 7 p.m. 

Police say Ricardo Soto from Edinburg killed Elvita Balli, a first grade teacher at Long, and an 18 year employee of the PSJA school district. 

"The principal shared with me that she considered her one of her best teachers," PSJA Superintendent Dr. Daniel King said. "An excellent teacher." 

Balli is an ex-girlfriend of the suspected shooter, Ricardo Soto.  They were found dead in the school parking lot, inside Balli's Cadillac, after the open house. Soto's Jeep was parked next the Cadillac when police arrived.  Police say Soto shot the first-grade teacher, before turning the gun on himself.

"What we learned is that Mr. Soto entered Mrs. Balli's vehicle, which is the red Cadillac, while inside there, he shot her several times, killing her," said Sgt. Mirabelle Garza of the Pharr Police Department. "From the information we learned, the relationship had ended somewhere in the last six months." 

Balli lived in McAllen with her adult child. School district officials offered counseling to staff and students at Long today. They also provided extra security on campus.

"There may be parents stopping with extra questions," Dr. King said. "We weren't sure whether to expect a parking situation, how many parents would stop to come in and ask more questions."

Long Elementary has about 900 students. There was one gun found in the car, believed to be one used on both victims.  

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