NCSO: Gunshots could have killed couple |

NCSO: Gunshots could have killed couple

A Reno couple found dead after a Friday traffic crash near Truckee may have died from gunshot wounds, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Keith Royal said Monday that a pathologist’s examination revealed Robert Gallegos, 26, and his wife, Araceli Gallegos, 22, have apparent gunshot wounds to the head.

The two were involved in “some type of altercation” before the crash, and a handgun and two spent cartridges were found inside the vehicle, Royal said.

Royal said the couple’s 6-year-old son, who was in the vehicle during the crash, remains under care at Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee. The boy’s name wasn’t released because he is a minor, but Royal said he is alert and talking.

At about 3:50 p.m. Friday, the Gallegoses’ vehicle was heading westbound on Interstate 80 near the agricultural inspection station in Truckee, Royal said. The vehicle struck a guard rail and went across the freeway into the eastbound lanes and struck a tree.

Massive head and body injuries led California Highway Patrol investigators to at first believe the couple died from the accident, Royal said.

But after the pathologist’s examination revealed apparent gunshot head wounds, investigators returned to the vehicle and found the gun and two shells, Royal said.

Royal added investigators don’t believe the boy, another motorist or someone else was involved in the shootings.

Capt. Gary Jacobson, the commander of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office substation in Truckee, said autopsies were under way Tuesday to determine the cause of the deaths.

Further tests will also be conducted to find out who the shooter in the incident was.

“We’re going to have to do a gunshot residue test on both victims,” Jacobson said. He said the test will help determine which person had the weapon used in the shooting.

John Bayless of the Sierra Sun contributed to this story

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