By Mitch Borden
Around 10:30 p.m. on September 26, Juan Rosalez was driving east on Highway 80 with his older brother Eduardo. The two were heading out of Odessa when their white pickup truck stalled.
Juan—who had just turned 31 a few months before—pulled over to wait for roadside assistance. Shortly after, a Ford pickup truck pulled up, seemingly to offer the two brothers help.
That’s when 37-year-old Troy Lee Wilson got out of his car and met Juan in the road, according to an arrest warrant obtained by Marfa Public Radio. The warrant says Wilson then pulled out a gun and shot Juan twice in the head. Juan dropped to the ground and Wilson dragged him to the side of the road before getting into his truck to flee.
As he sped off, Wilson left behind ammunition casings, footprints and tire prints. After witnessing all of this, Eduardo Rosalez was left to care for his little brother’s body.
The following day, Texas Department of Public Safety officers identified Wilson driving toward Midland on the same interstate where he had killed Juan the night before. The officers attempted to pull over Wilson, but he evaded arrest. It’s unclear how long officers pursued Wilson, but “the vehicle eventually came to a stop,” according to the warrant.
While searching the vehicle Wilson was driving, officers found two firearms in the car. According to the arrest warrant, Wilson waived his right to an attorney and admitted to a Texas Ranger that he killed Juan Rosalez. Wilson has been charged for Rosalez’s murder and for evading arrest. He currently remains in the Midland County jail on a nearly $600,000 bond.
Wilson is suspected of carrying out three other shootings last week, in which only one other person was shot. Jesus Alvarado, 52, was shot in the abdomen but survived and has been released from the hospital.
During a Monday morning press conference, Sheriff Griffis said law enforcement officials believe the suspected gunman acted alone during the Thursday shooting, but haven’t confirmed the alleged shooter was the “lone actor” in the previous shootings.
“I want to ensure the public that these people like this individual will be held accountable,” Sheriff Griffis said during the press conference. “We’re not going to tolerate this kind of stuff in our home town.”
The Ector County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency on the investigation, but multiple law enforcement agencies — including the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Odessa Police Department and the Texas Rangers — are providing assistance.
Sheriff Griffis said more information will be released as the agencies working the investigation are able to find out more information.