By Jimmie Ferguson
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS Police here believe the arrest of four suspects wraps up the case involving the shooting death of Fort Hood Capt. Jason Luz Gonzalez.
Charged with capital murder are Pfc. Russell J Alligood, 22, of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood; Erik Leonard Siperko, 17; Matthew Allen Harris, 20; and an unnamed 15-year-old male juvenile, all of Harker Heights.
Alligood, Siperko and Harris were being held Monday in Bell County Jail on $1 million each set by Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke. The juvenile was in the Right Turn Youth Center in Killeen.
Alligood, an Iraq veteran, is assigned to Company B, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. The Sulphur, La., native has been at Fort Hood since 2003 after joining the Army on Jan. 1, 2000, a Fort Hood spokesman said.
This offense has become reasonably apparent to us that its one of opportunity and was random in nature, said HHPD Chief Michael Mike Gentry said Monday.
They (the suspects) had no prior knowledge of Capt. Gonzalez and had never met him, Gentry said. The house is one of opportunity. The suspects saw something they liked about it and as of a result, attempted a burglary there. Also as a result, Capt. Gonzalez was killed. There are no other suspects at large.
At 6:16 p.m. June 3, Harker Heights police were summoned to 1806 Iron Jacket Trail. When they arrived, they found Gonzalez dead in his home with multiple gunshot wounds, Gentry said.
Immediately, Gentry said it was determined that Gonzalezs pickup truck, a 2002 white GMC Sierra extended cab with North Carolina license plates, had been taken from the scene.
In the arrest affidavits, the four suspects admitted, police said, that they entered the home without Gonzalezs permission, shot and killed the victim and stole several items, including the keys and truck.
This has been a difficult investigation, in that from its earliest point, we had a lot of information that didnt seem to make a lot of sense to us, Gentry said. However, we were able to do quite a bit of leg work on it and have answered some of those questions.
But from the beginning, this case was not one without hope, but it was certainly one that we had great concerns about, he added.
Gentry said the most significant break in the case occurred June 15, when Alligood was identified by investigators as being responsible for the attempted passing of a forged check.
According to Alligoods arrest affidavit, police said, he admitted he made out and submitted a check for $2,000 to a Vcom machine at a 7-Eleven store in Killeen June 3.
The check was made out to Jason Luz Gonzalez, dated May 31, 2005. The Harker Heights couple, who owned the check, told police that the check was stolen sometime late June 2 or early June 3 when one of their vehicles was burglarized.
Gentry said the suspects had been involved in several petty property crimes, primarily thefts from automobiles.
In a similar time frame to the murder, they also attempted entry into another residence but were unsuccessful, said the police chief, who would not provide details on that residential burglary.
The day after questioning Alligood, June 16, Gentry said HHPD divers recovered the stolen pickup out of Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, immediately adjacent to the south end of the long bridge on Farm-to-Market 3481. Other property has been recovered, as well, the police chief said.
Gonzalez is survived by his wife, Christina; a son, Christian; and a daughter, Analyssa, who were all scheduled to move to Harker Heights from San Antonio that weekend to join Gonzalez.
The Harker Heights Police Department extends its heart-felt condolences and warmest best wishes to the family of Capt. Gonzalez, Gentry said. This family has endured a great loss, and we are keenly aware of that. And we are likewise very appreciative of their helpful cooperation with this department through this investigation.
Gonzalez, a San Antonio native, was the commander of Headquarters and Headquar-ters Troop, 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, part of the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood.
An Apache helicopter pilot, Gonzalez was a 1998 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and had been assigned at Fort Hood since April.
Gonzalez had served an 8-month deployment in Bosnia-Herzegeovina, a two-week stint in Afghanistan and had just returned from a year in Korea.
He was scheduled to go to Iraq by the end of the year.
Gentry praised the efforts of his Criminal Investigation Unit that was assisted from the U.S. Army Criminal Investi-gations Division, the Bell County District Attorneys Office, the Bell County Attorneys Office, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Texas Rangers and other agencies.
Contact Jimmie Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org