Aggravated robbery investigation ongoing

November 29, 2017 GMT

EDINBURG — Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office investigators are working to determine whether the use of deadly force was justified after a security guard fatally shot 19-year-old Michael Daniel Garcia and 15-year-old Jorge Ariano early Saturday morning.

The victims — who were armed with shotguns and wearing ski masks — were allegedly trying to rob an illegal gambling establishment located at the corner of South Alamo Road and East Texas Road in Edinburg.

A third suspect fled on foot and has not been located. He is described as standing at 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds; also wearing a white T-shirt and jeans at the time of the incident.

The guard, 44-year-old Antonio Nieto, is a licensed level III security officer employed with Border Security and Investigation, said Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra, and is authorized to be armed.

Guerra noted that the establishment, which was formerly a church, has been twice shut down by his department over the past three years. The sheriff’s office has also attempted to seize the property but has been hindered by difficulty determining who owns it.

The department has shut down more than two dozen illegal gambling establishments over the past two years, resulting in more than 110 arrests, the sheriff added.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (956) 383-8114 or the anonymous Crime Stoppers line at (956) 668-8477.