Criminal Justice

Lawyer gunned down at Texas shopping mall

A 43-year-old Mexican lawyer shot to death at a Texas shopping mall last week as he and his wife were loading bags into the couple’s Range Rover seemingly was the victim of “an organization trained to do this activity,” the Southlake police chief says.

Expecting a complex investigation, in which multiple federal agencies and the state are also participating, Police Chief Steve Mylett said authorities had received more than a dozen tips since a news conference last week about the slaying of attorney Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa, the Star-Telegram reports.

“As with any investigation of this nature, we have the very slow and arduous task of thoroughly examining evidence, interviewing witnesses and following up on leads,” Mylett told the newspaper. “We are not going to sacrifice quality for speed.”

The motive for Guerrero’s killing is not known. Although Mylett did not say who he thought might be to blame for Guerrero’s killing, he said circumstances suggest it was a professional job, WFAA reports.

The police chief said a late-model white sports utility vehicle pulled behind Guerrero’s Range Rover and a Hispanic male about 5 feet 7 inches tall with a cloth mask over his face exited and fired a volley of shots into the area of the Range Rover. Guerrero was hit by multiple rounds. The attack occurred at about 6:45 p.m. at the Southlake Town Square mall.

“Obviously the nature of this homicide, the way it was carried out indicates––and I said indicates––an organization that is trained to do this type of activity,” Mylett said during a news conference last week. “When you’re dealing with individuals that operate on such a professional level, certainly caution forces me to have to lean towards that this is an organized criminal activity act. “

The last murder in Southlake was in 1999, WFAA says.

Guerrero practiced in Mexico, where he also had a business, and he may also have an affiliation with a McAllen, Tex., law firm, according to Mylett.

The lawyer’s wife and his three teenage children are under police protection.

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