With Presumed Shooter Dead, Kerrville Police Describe 16 Hours of Terror
KERRVILLE, TX — The suspect accused of killing a woman in a Kerrville Walmart parking lot late Monday night is dead, Kerrville police confirmed.
Police said the man shot the woman at around 10:23 p.m. Monday night then fled the Walmart parking lot for a movie theater in town called the Rio 10 Theater. Police said the suspect, 45-year-old Fernando Rolon, Jr., was an employee of both Walmart and the movie theater. Police said he was reported to know the victim he was accused of killing, Melissa Vilagrana, 38. She was also reported to be a Walmart employee.
In the immediate timeframe of the killing at the Walmart, police did not know where the suspect had fled but they knew his identity and believed him to be heavily armed based upon social media posts and other information shared with police.
Soon, police determined Rolon was holed up inside the movie theater where they formed a security perimeter around the property. Police soon successfully contacted Rolon on the phone where trained negotiators attempted too convince him to surrender. But, after several hours of discussions, Rolon broke off communications with police and ignored additional ways negotiators were attempting to re-establish contact.
Police were in for a long day with the standoff. Rolon was presumed barricaded somewhere inside the theater concealed from police.
Eventually, Kerrville police breeched the building and deployed teargas to flush the suspect out. But Rolon did not emerge. By this time, the Kerrville police SWAT teams had experienced 12 hours of continuous operations and the squad was relieved by the Texas DPS SWAT Team.
The DPS SWAT team continued the methodical search of the building until 2:55 p.m. Tuesday, over 16 hours since the victim was shot and killed at the Walmart. It was then that SWAT team members found Rolon badly injured. He had attempted suicide with a single gunshot wound to the head.
Troopers tried to save Rolon’s life and rushed him to the Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville. Rolon did not survive and a Kerr County justice of the peace pronounced him dead at the hospital.
The Kerrville police and Texas Rangers are the lead investigators. The Kerrville Police Department recognized the aid of private citizens, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office, Kerr County constables, the Ingram Police Department, the DPS SWAT Team, the Texas Rangers and the Texas DPS.
The victim’s body was released to a local funeral home.
“The Kerrville Police Department sends their sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of Melissa Villagrana,” police stated.
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