Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Office of Inspector General, Case Overview

Jose Juan Salaz

Photo of escapee Jose Juan Salaz

On April 2, 1995, in Houston, Texas, Salaz and a co-defendant kidnapped an adult hispanic male victim at gunpoint and demanded a ransom for his return. The Houston Police Department Homicide Division arranged for the ransom/victim exchange in the 7000 block of Lawndale in Houston. After the victim was released, officers identified themselves and were in the process of making the arrests when Salaz and the co-defendant opened fire on the officers. One Homicide Sergeant sustained a non-fatal gunshot to his body armor, and another Officer was wounded in the hand. Salaz was seriously wounded from two rounds of 12 gauge 00 buckshot.

Even though Salaz was shot from his thighs to his head, he recovered, pled guilty and received three concurrent 35-year sentences. His co-defendant, Geronimo Soto Alvarado, received life sentences and remains in TDCJ custody.

On March 22, 1997, at approximately 9:40 p.m., Salaz escaped from the outside recreation yard of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Garza East Unit in Beeville, Texas, by climbing over three 16-foot razor wire topped perimeter security fences. Salaz remains at-large today and has been profiled on segments of America's Most Wanted, as well as numerous local channel news broadcasts throughout South Texas.

Bee County Warrant #49988; HCSO SPN: 01453494