LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock Police are investigating the deaths of the 11th and 12th homicide victims of 2009. 28-year-old Rudy Vela and 27-year-old Jessica Hernandez were pronounced dead on the scene. A third victim, Rachael Diaz, was taken to University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries and has been released. The overnight stabbing happened in the 2000 block of 64th St. around 2:10 a.m.
Before this house became a crime scene it was supposed to be a fun party. There were about 10 to 15 people inside the house and officers responded to a call that there was a fight going on inside 2005 64th street. Investigators say earlier in the evening, 27-year-old Ruben Garcia, the man charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder got into an altercation with one of the victims Rudy Vela at a pool hall. The party then moved to Vela's residence. Police say Garcia knew Vela because he occasionally stayed at the residence. When officers arrived they say there were a number of people outside the house saying Garcia had stabbed people.
Officers confirmed what witnesses were saying when they went inside and discovered the bodies of Vela and Hernandez. Police say Vela and Garcia got into a fight over a bottle of gin, and Garcia felt disrespected and that's when he pulled a knife.
Investigators believe Hernandez was trying to move people out of harm's way and that's when she was stabbed. They say Diaz was injured when she tried to pull Garcia and Vela apart. Police say Garcia was intoxicated and they found him two blocks east of the crime scene.
"Shortly after officers arrived they took Garcia into custody without incident," says Captain Greg Stevens with the Lubbock Police Department.
According to previous records Garcia's been convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, assault causing bodily injury, drug possession and other crimes out of Denton County. He was released from the Gurney Prison Unit in Anderson County in August of 2008. Garcia was booked into the Lubbock County Jail around 9:45 a.m. Thursday morning and show he's also charged with drug possession related to Thursday's incident.
Officers discovered a child inside the house and say the 16 month old was not harmed and did not belong to the victims or the suspect. The child's parents were at the party.
Catherine Harbert has lived in the neighborhood for 24 years and says she's never seen anything like this happen. "It gives you a weird feeling but I'm not afraid because the man upstairs takes care of me," says Harbert. Detectives cleared the scene shortly after noon and say it was a large crime scene to process. They hope to present a case on the 11th and 12th homicide victims of 2009 to the District Attorney's office sometime in the next few days.
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