Few leads have been received in month-old case

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Jim Wells County Correspondent

With five takes and the camera rolling Tuesday, Sheriff Oscar Lopez introduced himself and his sergeant as the reenactment of a recent homicide was taped for airing as part of a Crime Stoppers of the Week program.

Slightly more than a month since the homicide on Jan. 6 and with few leads to follow, sheriff's officials decided to call on the Coastal Bend to help.

"Hopefully the information that we are providing to the media will lead to the arrest of a person or persons and their convictions," Jim Wells County Sheriff Oscar Lopez said.

The Crime Stoppers of the Week reenactment will begin airing on Thursday on local television stations and newspaper Web sites.

With a collaborative effort between the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department and Crime Stoppers of South Texas, a cash reward up to $7,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of individuals connected with the shooting on County Road 162. The shooting claimed the life of 36-year-old Jose Pepe Gallegos. Officials said Gallegos sustained three fatal gunshot wounds to his upper torso.

The sheriff's department is offering a $5,000 reward and Crime Stoppers of South Texas is putting up to $2,000 in cash. Individuals wishing to give a tip about the shooting can call 664-STOP.

All of the calls remain anonymous.

According to Jim Wells County officials, the shooting happened on Jan. 6 at 5:50 p.m. on County Road 162, off of County Road 160, about eight miles west of Alice. Witnesses have told officials that a truck sped away from the scene at the time of the shooting.

The Department of Public Safety artist sketched a composite of two possible suspects.

The suspects were described as two Hispanic men, one bald with light colored skin and the other with dark skin, who was wearing a hood over his head at the time of the shooting.

Michael Alaniz and Jose Olivares, senior officers with the Corpus Christi Police Department, are in charge of putting together the Crime Stoppers of the Week program.

Alaniz said cases with few leads are cases that end up in the weekly program.

"We've helped out the Alice Police Department, the Kingsville Police Department and now Jim Wells County," Alaniz said.

Alaniz said that after airing the weekly segments, they have found that about 30 percent of their reenactment cases are solved.

With about an hour of recording b-roll, natural sound and Sgt. Jose "Gino" Martinez reading the Crime Stopper script, the external part of putting together the 30-second public service announcement came to an end. The editing part of the process will begin and the edited version will air on Thursday.

"This is good because the news media can help us a lot," Lopez said. "With the assistance of the community, it will hopefully solve it."