Standoff in Palmview leaves one man dead, family wanting answers

NEWSCENTER 23
News

POSTED: Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 4:08pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 23, 2014 - 8:56am

A Palmview man is dead after he was involved in a police standoff Wednesday night.

Authorities responded to a house on the 600 block of South Mata Blvd. just after 8:30 p.m. for a report of a disturbance.

A 49-year-old man fired shots into the air before directing them at the officers and barricading himself inside the home.  Police returned fire--exactly how many shots were fired remains unclear.

"Whether he was hit by the gunfire or not, that's still gonna be determined by an autopsy," explained Christopher Barrera, Palmview Police Chief.  "We do know there was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to himself."

The victim is identified as Homer Cantu.  His family tells News Center 23 that Cantu got into an argument with his wife when she would not give him the keys to his truck--that's when he reportedly went to retrieve his gun.

Cantu's wife is the one who called police to the house.  She was not home when the standoff began.

In the early morning hours on Thursday, Justice of the Peace Melo Ochoa confirmed Cantu dead over the phone with an officer describing a gunshot wound to the head.

One Palmview police officer received minor injuries during the standoff from a bullet fragment.

A joint investigation is being conducted by Palmview Police, the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office, and the Texas Rangers.

"This is a critical incident, and anytime we have a critical incident we're gonna try to use the resources to complete the investigation in a timely manner," said J.P. Rodriguez, spokesperson for the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office.

Cantu's family says the investigation is anything but timely.  They waited more than 12 hours for their loved one's body to be removed from the crime scene.

"We're just frustrated, tired already," said Yolanda Cordova, Cantu's sister.  "They haven't told us anything.  We ask questions, nobody wants to talk to us, nobody tells us anything."

The victim's body was finally removed from the scene after 11 o'clock this morning.

Investigators are not releasing the exact number of gunshot wounds the victim sustained.  They're still in the process of interviewing neighbors and family members to get a more accurate picture of what exactly happened last night.

Chief Barrera said Palmview police officers have been called to Cantu's residence on more than one occasion in the past, however, he did not disclose specifics on what kind of incidents were previously reported.

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