New Details Emerge in Murder of Officer Houston

Memorial for fallen officer. | Image from DMN

Jamie Jaramillo, the man accused of killing Mesquite police officer Richard Lee Houston, allegedly shot the officer and himself.

Mesquite police had previously declined to clarify who fired the shot that injured Jaramillo.

According to arrest warrant affidavits acquired Tuesday, Jaramillo reportedly fired on the officer and then himself after his wife and daughter found him in his truck with another woman. The incident occurred outside the Albertsons at Belt Line and Cartwright roads in Mesquite.

Mesquite police had received a disturbance call regarding an altercation between two women in the parking lot, to which Houston was responding when he was shot. An affidavit states that Houston encountered four people when he arrived on the scene: two women (identified as Jaramillo’s wife and daughter) in one car, one woman in another, and Jaramillo in a truck.

According to the affidavit, the daughter informed Houston that she and her mother, Juventina Vasquez Bences, had caught Jaramillo being unfaithful. Houston then approached Jaramillo to speak to him when Jaramillo pulled out a gun and shot at the officer before shooting himself in the head.

When Jaramillo’s gun then fell to the ground, Vasquez Bences reportedly seized it and charged at the woman she believed her husband was cheating on her with, verbally and physically threatening her life.

Jaramillo’s alleged girlfriend said that Vasquez Bences had suspected and accused the two of having an affair for several months. She told investigators she and Jaramillo were in his truck outside the Albertsons when his wife and daughter approached them.

She said she exited Jaramillo’s truck and got into her own car but could not leave because Vasquez Bences and her daughter had blocked her vehicle in and were hitting and keying the car. The woman stated she called the police about three times but hung up because of language difficulties. However, she managed to tell emergency dispatch the address of the Albertsons.

The woman told investigators that Vasquez Bences was banging on her car window, threatening to kill her while yelling and cursing, saying the woman’s son would “pay” and it was her fault.

Officer Houston’s body camera and squad car footage show Vasquez Bences picking up a gun and approaching the woman’s car.

Vasquez Bences’ daughter confirmed to detectives that her mother had charged the other woman but said she did not hear what was said because she was trying to help Houston and her father with their gunshot wounds.

The woman and Vasquez Bences’ daughter were released after questioning with no charges filed against them. The woman was not hurt, but Vasquez Bences was arrested following the incident for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Her bail is set at $100,000, and she is additionally under an immigrations and customs hold due to her status as an unlawful migrant.

Jaramillo remains in stable condition in the hospital but faces charges, including capital murder of a peace officer, once he is released.

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