GOLIAD – A gunman opened fire Thursday on a parked car in Goliad with two adults and an infant inside, leaving the child’s father dead and wounding his mother, according to authorities.

Daniel Mendoza, 18, was arrested Friday morning and charged with murder in connection with the attack, according to a news release from the Goliad County Sheriff’s Office.

Nathan Cortinas, 19, was killed in the shooting.

Brianna Bexley, 18, was seriously injured by the gunfire. She is in critical condition at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, authorities said. An update on her condition was not available Friday afternoon.

Mendoza allegedly opened fire on the car between 11:30 p.m. and midnight Thursday as it was parked outside a house near the intersection of South Mt. Auburn and West Franklin streets. Cortinas was sitting in the driver’s seat and Bexley was sitting in the front passenger seat. Their child, a baby boy, was in the back seat of the car and was not injured in the shooting, authorities said.

Sgt. Donna Starry, who is investigating the shooting, said the infant was in the care of family members.

Investigators think Mendoza began shooting because of an “ongoing dispute between the parties,” according to the news release.

Starry said she did not yet have additional details about that dispute.

Mendoza used a small caliber handgun in the shooting, according the sheriff’s office. He ran on foot from the scene before deputies arrived but was arrested outside a Goliad convenience store about 5 a.m. Friday. He is being held in the Goliad County Jail.

None of the three people involved in the shooting is believed to live at the house near where the shooting occurred. No one answered the door Friday morning.

Amber Garza, who works at the Goliad Flower Shop down the street from the crime scene, said she didn’t know either the victims or Mendoza.

“It’s just a sad event, especially in a small town like this,” Garza said. “You don’t ever hear about stuff like this, and when you do, it’s down the road.”

This story was updated on June 17, 2019 to correct Nathan Cortinas' age.

Ciara McCarthy covers local government for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at cmccarthy@vicad.com or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara.

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. She reports on insurance, the cost of health care, local hospitals, and more. Questions, tips, or ideas? Contact: cmccarthy@vicad.com or call 361-580-6597.

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