Round Rock police reopen cold case to find suspect in 1983 killing
Round Rock police are reopening a 1983 murder case in which a man fatally shot a woman and injured two other people at a bar, officials said Tuesday.
Martin Gallegos is suspected of killing Helen Ochoa, 56, and wounding Juan Guerrero and Guadalupe Morales on Oct. 16, 1983, at the Cactus Lounge at 109 N. Sheppard St., according to a police news release.
"For 40 years he’s been on the run and we haven't been able to apprehend him," said Round Rock Police Cmdr. Tom Sloan. "My hope is that we will get the attention of someone who knows Gallegos or knows the other two men who were wounded, and we can find out where they are. That's why our appeal for help from the community is so important."
There was dancing at the lounge on the night of the shooting, Sloan said on Tuesday, adding that Gallegos got into a dispute with Guerrero and Morales over Ochoa. Gallegos shot at Ochoa, Guerrero and Morales as they were all leaving the lounge, police said. Ochoa died at the scene and Gallegos escaped, Sloan said.
Gallegos was a 22-year-old roofer and bricklayer in the Round Rock area when the incident occurred and would be 60 years old now, police said. He was on the state's top 10 most-wanted list in 1983, Sloan said.
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Gallegos was last seen in a village in Mexico in 2017 but at that time police could not extradite him because Mexico had a 13-year statute of limitations on extradition for murder, Sloan said. He said he didn't know where the village was where Gallegos was sighted. The extradition law has changed since 2017 so that Gallegos can be extradited if found, the commander said. He said he did not know details about how the law had changed.
Gallegos is a native of Mexico where he grew up in the city of San Miguel de Allende, about 70 miles north of Mexico City, said Sloan.
Gallegos poses no danger to the public, police said.
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Guerrero and Morales, who lived in Round Rock, talked to police after the shooting but officers are looking for them again because they still need to speak with them to help with the prosecution of Gallegos, said Sloan. Guerrero would be 70 and Morales would be 61 now, officials said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact detective Patrick Turck at email@example.com or 512-218-7048. Anonymous tips can be submitted to WilcoCrimeTips.org.
The Cactus Lounge, most recently known as the Cactus Nights Sports Bar, was demolished in March 2022, police said.
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Round Rock police reopen 1983 cold case to find murder suspect