Pharr man shot and killed during struggle over gun

A 41-year-old man who died after being shot on July 4 was killed during an argument with his girlfriend over who owned a handgun.

Three days later, Pharr police arrested 36-year-old Mercedes resident Cindy Nohemi Rico and charged her with manslaughter for the death of 41-year-old Jose Juan Mendez, municipal court and police documents show.

Police responded to 102 Every Way at 8:37 a.m. that day in reference to a man with a gunshot wound to his neck, a probable cause affidavit stated.

“The Defendant informed that she and [Mendez] were arguing over the ownership and possession of her 9 mm handgun,” the document stated. “The Defendant stated that she attempted to forcefully take the handgun away from [Mendez] and during the struggle, the handgun went off and the bullet struck [Mendez] on the neck.”

The Monitor, before obtaining the probable cause affidavit, reached out to Pharr police spokesman Michael Mendoza multiple times asking about the status of the investigation. Mendoza did not respond to any of the newspaper’s inquiries.

The police department also attempted to charge the newspaper $15.30 for a one-page probable cause affidavit and the two front pages of the police report. After a complaint to city hall, the newspaper obtained the documents at no charge.

As for Rico, she remains jailed on a $200,000 bond.