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Detective and Prosecutors Break Down the Scene of Selena Quintanilla’s Murder

The pop star's murder is getting a closer look nearly 30 years later in Selena and Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them.

By Caitlin Schunn

Superstar Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla’s murder shocked her fans and the world nearly three decades ago, as she was gunned down by her friend and employee, Yolanda Saldívar. But what happened between the two in the days and weeks leading up to Selena’s death is now getting a closer look, in the Oxygen special Selena and Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them.

How to Watch

Watch Selena & Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them on Oxygen and Peacock. 

In this preview of the special, authorities walk through what they believe was the sequence of events immediately after Selena was shot in a Days Inn motel room in Corpus Christi, Texas, as well as what they say they learned from witnesses at the scene.

Police analyze the murder scene

Selena was killed on March 31, 1995, and police began their investigation immediately.

“Once a crime scene is under control, that’s when investigators will come in and just start talking to people—asking questions,” Ray Rivera, a detective with the Corpus Christi police department, said of the day of the murder.

For more news on Selena:
Selena Quintanilla's Killer Yolanda Saldívar Speaks Out in Selena & Yolanda: Secrets Between Them
Where is Yolanda Saldivar Now? What to Know About Selena’s Killer
Tejano Singer Selena Quintanilla's Legacy Endures Through Her Music and Fashion

Police shared that they knew the shooting happened in the doorway of the motel where Selena and Yolanda had been meeting that morning.

“We know that, because there was no blood on the inside of the room,” prosecutor Mark Skurka said. “All the blood was located here and, on the wall, or on the door here.”

What did witnesses see and hear?

But authorities were most interested in what they were able to gather from eyewitness accounts.

“I’m not sure that any witnesses said they heard an argument, but they definitely heard the gunshot,” Rivera said. “And then a young woman ran out of that room.”

Selena Quintanilla arrives at the 1994 Grammys

Authorities revealed during the special that they talked to many of those staying at the motel about what they saw and heard, and those accounts ended up being some of the most important evidence in the case.

“Selena is running away across this little grassy area,” Skurka added. “She drops her briefcase and some folders. Now, the folks over here are watching all this. And they testified that they saw Yolanda Saldívar come out of the door, with her gun, and point it outstretched at Selena.”

But it was what reportedly happened next that stuck with investigators.

“According to our best witness, Yolanda comes out, and she points the gun at Selena, and Selena is gone by this time, running,” lead prosecutor Carlos Valdez said. “She brings the gun down, and she says, ‘Bitch!’”

Saldívar and members of her family, who are featured prominently in the special, deny that witness account and maintain the shooting was accidental. Saldívar was convicted of Selena's murder in October 1995 and was sentenced to life in prison, with no possibility for parole for 30 years. She'll be eligible for parole in March 2025. 

To learn more about Selena’s death, watch Selena & Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them, premiering with back-to-back episodes on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Sunday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m., or catch it on Peacock the day after.