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2nd Man Facing Murder Charge In Shooting Outside Alton-Area Stripes Store

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A second suspect has been arrested on murder and attempted murder charges stemming from a gunbattle that erupted following an armed confrontation outside a Stripes store west of Alton last month.

The ongoing investigation led Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies to 31-year-old Ricardo Adrian Mata who is accused along with two other men in the shooting death of 22-year-old Leonardo Veliz.

Veliz was killed and his 21-year-old brother Emmanuel was wounded in the gunbattle that broke out a couple of miles away from the Alton-area Stripes store the afternoon of October 14th.

Investigators are still searching for a third suspect. Authorities have not said what sparked the initial confrontation and the subsequent shooting.

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