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19-year-old shot in the head, suspect arrested in Smith County, fatal July 4 shooting

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Smith County Sheriff’s Office said a 19-year-old died from injuries sustained after being shot in the head on July 4.

On Thursday around 10:45 p.m., sheriff’s office officials responded to reports of a shooting at 3726 Highway 271 North near Tyler. Smith County dispatch reported that the shooting victim was taken to the local emergency room and Tyler police arrived there.


Investigators with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office went to the hospital and crime scene and learned that three friends were allegedly traveling in a truck on Old Gladewater Highway, but then turned around to return to Highway 271. On the way back to Highway 271, they allegedly passed behind Bautista Auto Sales and heard gunshots.

Rawly Sanchez, 19, was then struck by a bullet in the back of the head while sitting in the back seat of the truck. According to a press release, his friends immediately rushed Sanchez to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Seferino Bautista-Renteria. Photo courtesy of Smith County Jail.

Later, Smith County investigators reportedly contacted Bautista Auto Sales owner Seferino Bautista-Renteria, 35, of Tyler, at his home and arrested him after speaking with witnesses.

Search warrants were subsequently obtained for Bautista-Renteria’s home and business. Smith County officials and investigators then searched the home and business for evidence while Smith County Crime Scene Investigation Units examined the crime scene.

A warrant was issued for Bautista-Renteria’s arrest for first-degree murder and he was remanded to the Smith County Jail on $1 million bail.

The victim’s body was taken for an autopsy and authorities said the investigation was ongoing.