McALLEN — A man enraged after buying a broken cell phone allegedly shot his neighbor in the head last week, police said.
Officers arrested Jesus “Chuy” Luna Jr., 20, after he allegedly shot his 18-year-old neighbor in the head with a .45-caliber pistol outside his house early Thursday morning at the 3400 block of West Augusta Avenue. The shooting victim, whose name was not disclosed by police, remains unconscious at McAllen Medical Center.
Luna allegedly shot the man after buying a broken cell phone from him for $20, the criminal complaint in the case states.
Witnesses — police withheld their names — told detectives they saw a white Ford pickup truck stop in an alley behind the victim’s house about 12:30 a.m. Thursday. Witnesses said they then heard gunshots. The victim’s father said he walked out his front door to find his other son holding his brother, who was bleeding in his arms.
An acquaintance of the victim accompanied the shooting victim when he sold Luna the broken cell phone, court documents state. The victim apparently said he knew the cell phone was broken, but that he would sell it and “risk getting caught.”
Police went to Luna’s house at the 3500 block of Balboa Avenue, one block south of where the shooting occurred. There, they found the broken cell phone and a .45-caliber pistol holster — the same size of bullet casings found at the scene and believed to have been used in the 18-year-old’s shooting.
Luna said he did not know anything about the shooting, but gave an inconsistent and changing story about his whereabouts in an interview with police. He also told detectives he would find it justifiable to kill someone for breaking into his home.
Detectives interviewed other neighbors and relatives who knew Luna, saying he had bragged about owning a .45-caliber handgun and would “take out” the victim with it “if he messed with him,” the criminal complaint states. Police said Luna had a “propensity for violence” against the victim, who he had apparently assaulted before.
Luna was arraigned on one charge of criminal attempted murder Saturday in McAllen Municipal Court. Bond was set at $500,000 in the case. If convicted, Luna could face up to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
The victim remains unresponsive and in critical condition at McAllen Medical Center, police said. Should he succumb to his injuries, the charges against Luna would be changed to murder.