MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MO (AP) – A Mexican national charged with killing five men in Kansas and Missouri this week is in the hospital following a suspected suicide attempt in jail.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says Pablo Antonio Serrano-Vitorino was taken off of suicide watch Wednesday afternoon and placed in the general population.
He was discovered with his throat slit from a safety razor in an apparent suicide attempt Thursday morning, the sheriff’s office said. He was taken to the hospital where he remains in stable condition in a location secured by law enforcement.
Serrano-Vitorino, 40, has been charged with killing a neighbor and three other men on Monday night in Kansas City, KS, then gunning down another man Tuesday morning at the man’s rural home in Missouri. He was captured Wednesday morning. Authorities have not released a motive for the rampage.
Serrano-Vitorino, who was in the U.S. illegally, eluded Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the agency. In June 2015, officials from a Wyandotte County where Serrano-Vitorino faced domestic battery charges asked federal immigration officials about him because he was born outside the country, but ICE didn’t respond before the county let him go.
He was deported in April 2004 because he was in the country illegally, but he re-entered at some unknown time, ICE said by email.
Serrano-Vitorino, who has been living in KCK, was fingerprinted Sept. 14 at the Overland Park Municipal Court after being cited for traffic violations. That triggered an ICE order to have him detained. But ICE said it sent the order to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office instead of to the Overland Park Municipal Court.
Court administrator Robin Barnard said Serrano-Vitorino showed up at the court the next month to pay a $146 fine. He was never in custody of any local authorities for the traffic violations.
ICE said that had its order been sent to an agency that had Serrano-Vitorino in custody, it would have sought to deport him.
Earlier last year, Serrano-Vitorino was booked on a misdemeanor domestic battery charge in KCK. The Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department sent ICE an overnight query about him, sheriff’s Lt. Kelli Bailiff said Wednesday, but when ICE did not respond within the required six-hour period, Serrano-Vitorino was released.
ICE said the query, which did not involve his fingerprints, required the agency to interview Serrano-Vitorino, something it wasn’t able to do between when the sheriff’s office sent it at 1:30 a.m. and released Serrano-Vitorino at 7:30 a.m.
Serrano-Vitorino is jailed in Montgomery County on $2 million bond related to the Kansas charges.
Serrano-Vitorino has had at least one previous conviction — an unspecified terrorist threat for which he was sentenced to two years in a California prison — that led to his 2004 deportation, according to ICE.
ICE also said Serrano-Vitorino was convicted in 2014 of driving under the influence in Kansas. But ICE records don’t show the agency was notified that Serrano was fingerprinted at that time.