Man accused of fatally shooting girlfriend inside northwest Harris County apartment

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies are searching for a man accused of shooting and killing his girlfriend this weekend.

The murder happened around 10:30pm Saturday at the North Bend Apartments on Cornerstone Village Drive near Loverswood Drive in northwest Harris County.

"It was devastating when I found out someone was right above me and my children, dead," neighbor Socora Thompson said.

Deputies say Melvin Sandoval was inside the apartment with his girlfriend -- 31-year-old Esmeralda Covarrubias -- and at least two other people when he pulled out a gun and shot her. Covarrubias died on the couch, officials said.

At least one person inside the apartment witnessed the shooting and called 911, but it's still unclear why the boyfriend pulled the trigger.

"As far as motive, we don't know what happened, if there was some type of argument or what took place," HCSO Sgt. Robert Spurgeon said.

Thompson, whose children played with the victim's children, said she heard the gunshot but didn't realize what it was until she saw police entering the apartment above her.

"We heard the gunshot, but there was no screaming, hollering, anything else," Thompson said.

The incident is cause for concern for some neighbors.

"It concerns me because there are kids here and you never know what can happen," neighbor Rasanique Elder said.

Sandoval, 22, fled the scene and remains at large. He is charged with murder. described as a Honduran male, 5 feet 2 inches tall with a thin build and dark, short hair.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the HCSO Homicide Unit at 713-967-5810 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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