Mercedes man charged in 2012 grocery store shooting

Hidalgo County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 30-year-old Mercedes man wanted in an armed robbery that ended in a shootout more than eight years ago.

Deputies arrested Eddy Abraham Olivares at about 3:45 a.m. Monday morning, booking records show. The 30-year-old was 22 at the time of the Feb. 26, 2012, shooting.

Olivares, who was charged with attempted capital murder, remains jailed on a $150,000 bond.

The shooting occurred on a Sunday at around 9:52 p.m. at Perez Groceries, which is west of Mile 6 1/2 West on Mile 7 North and north of Weslaco, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The owner, Carmen Polanco Perez, who was 71 at the time, according to newspaper archives, told responding deputies that he had been shot with a handgun during an armed robbery.

“Mr. Perez said that he was about to close his business when two armed male subjects walked in the store yelling that it was a robbery and ordered him to the ground. Mr. Perez then heard a gunshot and felt he was hit. He then grabbed his gun and shot at the two armed male subjects, striking one of the suspects,” a probable cause affidavit states.

Newspaper archives indicate Perez had been hit in the chest from a shotgun blast.

Investigators say in the affidavit that blood at the scene corroborated Perez’s account of the shooting.

Through the course of the investigation, deputies learned that a gunshot victim, Jorge Rios Barron, now 29, had been transported to Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco, according to the affidavit.

Perez was treated for his gunshot wound at the same hospital, The Monitor reported at the time.

“Investigators obtained a statement from a witness who said he saw Eddy Abraham Olivarez (sic) and Jorge Rios Barron running away from the store when Jorge was shot. Witness stated he transported Jorge and Eddy to the hospital,” the affidavit states.

Deputies arrested Barron in March of 2012 on a charge of attempted capital murder. Just a few months later, Barron pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

He is scheduled for release in March 2024 and has been eligible for parole since 2018, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice records.

The parole board denied a chance he had for release in 2018, ruling his offense was violent. They also believed he posed a continued threat to public safety and noted that he has had repeated criminal episodes, which allegedly create a predisposition to commit criminal acts upon release, TDCJ stated.

Barron, who was 21 at the time of the shooting, is scheduled for a parole hearing in March 2021.