Thursday afternoon Texas officials with the Southlake Police Department confirmed the victim of Wednesday’s daylight shooting murder was Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa.
The 43-year-old is believed to have been a lawyer for the notoriously violent Gulf
Cartel drug trafficking organization but police have not confirmed it.
Four separate law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation identified the victim as Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa, 43, of Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Chapa has been named in various Mexican news reports as a lawyer for the Gulf Cartel, one of the largest and most violent drug organizations in Mexico.
According to the respected Mexican investigative magazine Proceso, Guerrero was arrested on drug charges by the Mexican military on Feb. 26, 2002, and taken to the maximum-security prison known as La Palma.
At the time of his arrest in 2002, Guerrero was representing the second-highest ranking leader of the Gulf Cartel, Osiel Cárdenas Guillén. The attorney was soon freed because of an apparent lack of evidence, Proceso reported.
Chapa lived in legally in a highly-secure, gated community in Southlake with his family. A guard at the front gate prevents uninvited guests from entering.
Wednesday afternoon the city of Southlake had its’ first murder in more than a decade. The murder happened when a gunman walked up to a married couple, sitting in their Range Rover in the parking lot of the city’s popular Southlake Town Square and fired several shots.
“I don’t want to speculate on the motivation of the suspects but everything we’re receiving is this is not a random shooting,” Mylett told NBC 5 on Wednesday. “This was a targeted incident.”
Police say the 43-year-old man had been sitting in the passenger seat of a Range Rover with his wife parked in the parking lot of the city’s popular Southlake Town Square, near Banana Republic, when a white SUV pulled up next to them.
Witnesses say a masked shooter got out and fired at least five rounds with a gun that possibly had a silencer on it. The male victim was hit multiple times by the gunfire and later died at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine.
The shooter escaped with a getaway driver and was last seen driving West on Southlake Boulevard, police said. Investigators only have a general description of the suspects.
Chapa, who was sitting in the passenger’s seat, and was shot at least five times. Police say most of the bullets hit him in the upper torso. They recovered 9 casings from the scene.
His wife was in the driver’s seat and wasn’t injured. She and the couple’s three teenage children are currently under police protection.
The suspect, who was the passenger in a white SUV with Texas license plates,emerged with his face covered, fired shots and returned to the vehicle and fled. He’s described at a Hispanic male, 5’7-5’10.
In his book Los Narcoabogados, reporter Ricardo Ravelo described Guerrero Chapa:
“Lawyers Juan Jesus Guerrero, Agustin Rojas and Francisco Flores admitted to La Palma (the February 26, 2002). They spoke with Gilberto Garcia Mena (El June), the second most important man of the Gulf cartel to refine the legal strategy, and began efforts to defend the 17 detained, all linked to the Gulf Cartel. However, maneuvering the PGR would end in tragedy. In their investigation, prosecutors found that the Gulf cartel structure was varied and complex: operating not only with an armed group, Los Zetas, but they also had a well-organized network of lawyers, whose task is not only limited to legal work, but who also performed other operating activities. It was, according to the PGR, of lawyers in their professional exceeded the post by doing expected work , but also paid the payroll of the members of the organization and at the same time, relayed instructions to keep the criminal enterprise briskly functioning. All this was done under their profession, whose title and professional license allowed them to enter the prisons, dialogue with customers and define strategies, spending time more or less unnoticed. So they moved the threads in the murky world of criminal law.
“Based on these and other documents, the PGR focused their research towards the legal team of Osiel Cardenas, who at that time still enjoyed freedom and leadership.The main suspect for preforming these tasks was Juan Jesus Guerrero Chapa, legal adviser called Mata Amigos. For PGR this character was, in reality, a narco-lawyer. In and out of the Palma many times wanted or was ordered. He was seen as a litigator carrying out his job, but the veil of suspicion darkened it.
“On leaving the jail the criminal lawyers were persecuted and harassed by plainclothes military, to cause a crash of their vehicle and capture them. The soldiers walked with their arms to the crashed car and arrested Rojas Vazquez and Guerrero Chapa, who was blindfolded hit and pushed into vans. The soldiers realized that Iruegas Flores had several shots to his body but still had signs of life, but left him to his fate. Juan Guerrero Chapa was consigned by the PGR and, later, he was released for lack of evidence “
Lately, Guerrero Chapa and his family enjoyed every luxury, residing in private, exclusively in Southlake; after the execution of the alleged ‘narco-lawyer’, his wife and children are hiding under police guard.