On 10-23-2010 at approximately 6:30pm, Stephenville Police Officers were dispatched to the emergency room of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville in reference to a gunshot victim. Reporting officers identified the victim as Joel Espinoza, age 25, of Gorman, Texas. A witness to the incident advised reporting officers that she and Espinoza had been sitting in her vehicle at Stephenville City Park when they were approached by the suspect, Fernando Esparza, age 24, of Dublin, Texas. The witness identified Esparza as her former boyfriend. The witness said Esparza began firing into her passenger side window with a rifle. The witness said that upon realizing Espinoza had been shot, she drove him to the emergency room and Esparza fled the scene. Espinoza was shot at least four (4) times and, he was later transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.
Stephenville Police Department Investigators have obtained an arrest warrant for Esparza. He may have fled the area and anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts is urged to call the Stephenville Police Department at 254-918-1200 or Erath County Crime Stoppers at 254-965-2274. Esparza is still believed to be armed and, he should be considered a threat to law enforcement officers as well as the public.
Additional information will be released when it is available.