1 arrested, 1 sought in shooting of 65-year-old man during attempted robbery, officials say

Mugshots of James Varnell and Rolando Tomas Mendez.
Mugshots of James Varnell and Rolando Tomas Mendez. (HCSO)

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Harris County authorities arrested one man and are asking for the public's help locating another in connection with a shooting earlier this month.

James Ryan Varnell was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated robbery after authorities said he and Rolando Tomas Mendez shot a 65-year-old man on Sept. 3 around 10 a.m.

Authorities said Varnell, 28, was driving a vehicle and stopped it in front of the victim's vehicle at the Los Charros Tex-Mex restaurant in the 11100 block of Bentley Street. Mendez, 27, shot the victim and left the scene, authorities said.

The victim then stumbled into the restaurant, according to officials. He is currently in an intensive care unit at an area hospital.

Authorities are searching for Mendez, whom they describe as being about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds and having black hair and brown eyes.

Authorities said Mendez has a distinct tattoo of red lips on his right cheek and “Hardaway” above his left eyebrow, among other tattoos.

Anyone with information about the shooting or Mendez's whereabouts is asked to call the Harris County Sheriff's Office Violent Crimes unit at 713-274-9210.

Crime Stoppers is offering to pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the charging and/or arrest of Mendez.

Information may be reported by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org. Tips may also be sent via a text message by texting the following: TIP610 plus the information to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.