SHOOTING SPREE

Double murderer of El Salobral commits suicide after standoff

Juan Carlos Alfaro killed a 13-year-old girl with whom he was having a relationship and a bystander in the Albacete town

Civil Guard vehicles surround the area where Juan Carlos Alfaro was hiding out.
Civil Guard vehicles surround the area where Juan Carlos Alfaro was hiding out.CRISTÓBAL MANUEL

A 39-year-old man who went on a shooting rampage in the Albacete town of El Salobral on Saturday night, killing two including a 13-year-old girl he had been having a relationship with, committed suicide after a six-hour standoff with the Civil Guard on Monday.

Juan Carlos Alfaro, an unemployed mechanic who was described as an excellent marksman, had been holed up inside a shed located on a rural plot of land belonging to his family on the outskirts of El Salobral. He was armed with a pistol and shotgun.

Civil Guard authorities had tried unsuccessfully to negotiate his surrender. Alfaro, whose nickname was “El Fraguel,” fled El Salobral late Saturday on foot after killing 13-year-old Almudena and 40-year-old Agustín Delicado. Another man, the girl’s grandfather, was also wounded in the shooting spree.

Alfaro had telephoned Civil Guard authorities to confess to the killings.

After a massive manhunt with sniffer dogs that lasted the entire day on Sunday, the Civil Guard found him at around 9am hiding inside the shed. He opened fire on law enforcement officers but no one was injured.

Some 100 officers surrounded the area, and negotiators from the guard’s Special Intervention Unit (UEI) tried to convince him to surrender but Alfaro refused to give up. He told the Civil Guard he would shoot at the officers if they tried to storm the shed.

By mid-morning he asked the negotiators for a pack of cigarettes and a cellphone

By mid-morning he asked the UEI negotiators for a pack of cigarettes and a cellphone to replace his mobile phone which had run out of battery power. He killed himself at about 3pm.

Ángel Aparicio, an uncle of Alfaro’s, told reporters that his nephew wasn’t a criminal and wouldn’t have gone on the shooting rampage if he hadn’t been pressured by the Almudena’s family which had tried to separate the two. Alfaro and Almudena had a sentimental relationship, but she had reportedly been ordered to break it off by her family, according to some local people.

But Alfaro’s mother, Cándida, said in a television interview that her son tried to break off with Almudena on several occasions but the girl continued to harass him. Alfaro became very nervous when the girl’s mother began stalking him, Cándida said.

The shootings began at around 7.30pm Saturday when Alfaro gunned the girl down – pumping four shots into her body – as she was walking with some friends on a street El Salobral.

Alfaro later went to his home in the center of town to gather a shotgun. As he was fleeing on foot, Alfaro sprayed about 15 shots at several buildings. One of the bullets hit Delicado in the face as he stood at the stoop of his doorway smoking a cigarette.

Delicado, known as Pepsicolo, was an unemployed truck driver with an 11-year-old daughter.

Both of Alfaro’s victims died instantly.

Later, the gunman ran into the girl’s grandfather and shot him as he was stepping out of his automobile. The man was wounded.

The entire rampage gripped the entire town of about 1,400 residents. Police had ordered citizens to remain indoors and Mayor Ángel Sánchez said that he helped escort frighten people to their homes just hours after the shootings. The Civil Guard also blocked all the entrances and roads leading to El Salobral.

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