Arrest made 13 days after father of 4 killed just after he was booted from Gulf Freeway Bombshells

Jaime Torres, 26, was shot to death on May 7. Investigators said his truck disappeared from the scene after his killing.

ByNick Natario and Matt Guillermo KTRK logo
Friday, May 19, 2023
18-year-old accused of shooting Bombshells patron booted from bar
Jaime Salinas, an 18-year-old who was out on bond tied to an alleged confrontation with a Galena Park officer, is accused of killing Jaime Torres.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The man accused of killing a father of four children outside of a popular southeast Houston sports bar shot the victim to death as he was allegedly trying to commit a robbery, charging documents read.

Eyewitness News learned on Friday that 18-year-old Jaime Salinas was arrested in connection to the May 7 deadly shooting of 26-year-old Jaime Torres. Court records show Salinas was arrested and booked into jail on a capital murder charge Thursday.

In the wake of Torres' killing, the Houston Police Department disclosed that Torres was a customer at Bombshells sports bar in the 12800 block of Gulf Freeway, where investigators said he was overserved alcohol and asked to leave.

As he was trying to depart in his pickup truck, someone shot Torres multiple times, police said. The truck was also nowhere to be found after shots rang out. HPD later released photos of the vehicle in the hopes of finding a suspect.

Court paperwork doesn't make clear how investigators tied Salinas to the killing, or whether the truck was recovered. Court records show Salinas is due to appear in court on Monday, May 22.

SEE ORIGINAL REPORT: Man's body found near Gulf Freeway feeder after being kicked out of Bombshells, police say

A man's body was found with gunshot wounds near the feeder of the Gulf Freeway after being kicked out of a Bombshells restaurant, Houston police say.

Suspect's criminal history

Salinas has a record with law enforcement, most notably since late last year.

He was arrested in October 2022 on a felony charge of taking a weapon from a peace officer. Documents show this was tied to an alleged confrontation with a Galena Park police officer.

Then, court records filed in January show Salinas may have violated his $7,500 bond due to a failure to comply with curfew requirements. The bond condition was later amended during a February hearing, effectively tossing the curfew. Salinas remained out on bond thereafter.

Widow's feelings affirmed

Eyewitness News reached out to Torres' wife, Arlinda Mendoza, a day after Salinas' arrest. She told ABC13's Nick Natario that she's extremely grateful because some people "don't get that kind of justice."

Mendoza said she learned of the arrest Thursday while she was visiting the area where her husband was killed.

"I was so excited," Mendoza recalled. "I was happy for quite a moment. I was with his mom. We were putting flowers on the site. We were just happy."

She also felt a robbery was behind her husband's killing because she had no idea who would want to kill him.

When ABC13 spoke with Mendoza last week, she described the moment she found out that she just lost her partner from seeing a news article.

"I see the picture of the license plate. That's when I lost it," she said on May 9. "I started screaming loud and panicking. I fell to the ground."

Mendoza also shifted some blame on two friends who were hanging out with her husband when he was tossed from the bar.

"Both his friends saw him walk out and didn't bother to walk him to his truck. That's where my anger comes in," she said.

A GoFundMe site is still active to collect donations to help with the funeral expenses.

What data shows about the area's crime

The ABC13 Neighborhood Safety Tracker showed 31 robberies were counted over the last 12 months in the Sage area that covered the scene of the shooting. Robberies fell from 2020, when 68 were counted.

Just three homicides were counted in the last year in the Sage area, data shows.

The Sage area is home to an estimated 22,000 people.

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