ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- We’re learning more about a Friday evening double homicide that left two teenagers dead in West Odessa, and two suspects in custody, including the motivation behind the incident, which Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis called “stupid” and “sad”.
Griffis said that just before 6:00 p.m. on October 27, deputies were called to a Dollar General store on 3rd Street and Knox after a teen was shot. The victim, later identified as 18-year-old Kevin Adrian Roman, was taken to an area hospital where he died while in surgery.
According to an affidavit, security footage from the scene of the shooting showed a white Chrysler 300 leaving the area after shots were fired. That vehicle was later found abandoned with bullet holes and blood inside. Investigators learned that the car belonged to 20-year-old Ethan Gabriel Ibarra, who later showed up at the Ector County Sheriff’s Office to provide a statement. Ibarra’s friend, 18-year-old Victor Balderama, also gave a statement, court records show.
Investigators said that during an interview, Ibarra confessed to shooting Roman after a “drug deal gone bad”. Ibarra told investigators that he also disposed of two firearms following the shooting, and admitted he’d hidden another victim.
Court records show that Ibarra was escorted by ECSO to a location in Penwell, where investigators found another victim near the railroad tracks; a victim they hadn’t known existed on Friday night. That victim was identified as 17-year-old Dillan Zubia and court documents show that Zubia was shot at least once.
Investigators said that Ibarra admitted to the shooting, but also said that Balderama was a passenger inside the Chrysler at the time of the incident and helped hide Zubia’s body and dispose of the firearms used during the shooting. Ibarra has been charged with Murder, Tampering with Physical Evidence, and Tampering with a Human Corpse. He remained in the Ector County Law Enforcement Center as of Monday afternoon on a combined $175,000 bond. Balderama has also been charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence and Tampering with a Human Corpse; he too remained in custody as of Monday afternoon on a combined $75,000 bond.
Griffis said his office has seen similar deadly crimes involving teens and described the situation as “ridiculous”.
“It sounds pretty ridiculous to me, but apparently this was all over a very small amount of marijuana. One group was planning to rob the other of a very small amount…which is just ridiculous. Now, you’ve got at least four people whose lives are ruined over some stupid marijuana. It’s sad, very sad,” Griffis said.
Griffis said it’s important for parents to know what their children are involved in, to keep this from happening to others.
“This is happening with kids who are 17, 18 years old…parents, look in their rooms. It’s sad, and not worth losing your life or your freedom over. Parents don’t be your kids’ friends. It’s your job to mold these young people into adults and I hope you are successful.” he said.
According to Griffis, the investigation is ongoing, and more people could be arrested soon.
“We don’t believe there are any other victims, but we do believe there’s a chance that other individuals may be arrested in the future,” Griffis said.
He’s asking anyone with information about the shooting to come forward by calling 432-335-3050.