Dallas man accused of murdering 2-year-old stepson

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A Dallas man is charged with capital murder after allegedly shooting his 2-year-old stepson late Sunday in Dallas County.

Anthony Mares was pronounced dead Sunday night at Charlton Methodist Hospital after a shooting in the 9500 block of Beckley View. Dallas police said his stepfather pulled the trigger.

The family of the child took the boy to the hospital after the shooting and the boy’s stepfather was detained by officers at the medical facility.

Rolando Hidalgo, 22, is being held on a $500,000 bond. Investigators haven't released a motive, but they say Hidalgo shot the little boy inside the family's home.

The suspect has an extensive criminal history including convictions for felony burglary, drug possession and evading arrest charges. He was recently released from prison when investigators say he murdered his stepson.

It was inside a trailer located on Beckleycrest Avenue in Dallas County where investigators say 2-year-old Anthony was fatally shot by his stepfather.

The arrest affidavit indicates Hidalgo was in the home with the boy's mother, Kancy Berrera, and three children when Barrera "heard a loud bang" and "observed Hidalgo exiting the master bedroom holding (the boy) in his arms." At the hospital, Hidalgo "was adamant that he was not in the room when (the boy) had shot himself."

Tammie Martinez lives next door. She says she didn't hear the shooting, but she did hear family members rushing Anthony to the hospital.

“I heard him running. I heard someone running,” she recalled. “You could hear stomping on the ground.”

According to the Dallas County Sheriff's Office, Hidalgo and the boy's mother drove Anthony to the hospital where he died a short time later.

Detectives got a search warrant and found what they believe to be the weapon that was described as a small black handgun and a shell inside a house where Hidalgo's mother lives.

Hidalgo's mother claimed by phone that the shooting was an accident. She says Hidalgo and the boy's mother were in the bathroom when Anthony shot himself in a nearby bedroom.

“The baby shot himself accidentally, and that's just the truth to the story,” Hidalgo’s mother said. “He would never do that to his kid. Ever. And they're the ones who took the kid to the hospital.”

Sheriff investigators have not said what evidence of intent supports the capital murder charge, which can apply in this case because Anthony was younger than six. As a convicted felon, Hidalgo would be prohibited from having a firearm.               

According to Child Protective Services, caseworkers do have a history with the family. Two other children who live at the home have been removed by CPS and are in the custody of relatives temporarily.