Murder suspect Fernando Rolon, Jr.,45, has died of "an self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head" following a marathon standoff with police that began Monday night and continued until 2:55 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Kerrville Police Department Sgt. Jonathan Lamb.
Rolon is suspected shooting and killing 38-year-old Melissa Villagrana in the Walmart parking lot Monday night at 10:23 p.m., Lamb said, adding that both Rolon and Villagrana were employees of Walmart.
Rolon reportedly fled the scene after the shooting and a manhunt ensued.
“Based on social media posts and other information, Rolon was believed to be heavily armed,” Lamb said. “Investigators learned that Rolon was an employee at the Rio 10 Theater, 1401 Bandera Highway in Kerrville. A Kerrville Police Department officer located Rolon's car in the parking lot of the theater.”
According to Lamb, the KPD Special Operations Unit established a cordon around the area and negotiators made contact with Rolon, who initially indicated he would give himself up, but then broke off communication and remained barricated inside the movie theater.
“Members of the KPD Special Operations Unit made entry into the theater and delivered tear gas into areas of the theater in order to convince Rolon to surrender,” Lamb said. “After almost 12 hours of continuous operations, the KPD Special Operations Unit were relieved in place by a Texas Department of Public Safety SWAT Team.”
The DPS SWAT team continued the methodical search of the theater and at approximately 2:55 p.m. on Tuesday, Rolon was located inside the theater and was “suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,” Lamb said.
According to Lamb, Rolon was transported by ambulance to the Peterson Regional Medical Center. He was treated in the emergency room, but did not service his gunshot wound and he was pronounced deceased by a Justice of the Peace.
The Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Ranger and the Kerrville Police Department are handling the investigation. Further details will be provided as the investigation progresses.
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,” Lamb said. “The Kerrville Police Department wishes to thank the citizens of Kerrville for providing vital information, which helped lead to a resolution of this tragic event. We would also like to thank the Kerr County Sheriff's Department for their invaluable assistance during this event.”