On March 31, 1995, the Latin music world was stunned by the tragic news that Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, one of the most beloved and successful Tejano music artists of all time, had been murdered at the young age of 23. Selena was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar, her former fan club president, at a Days Inn in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Saldívar had been a trusted member of Selena’s inner circle, managing her fan club and boutique stores. However, Selena’s family and team began to suspect Saldívar of embezzlement and financial misconduct. Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., had confronted Saldívar about missing funds and fired her from her position as fan club president. Saldívar had been holding a gun and claimed that she intended to kill herself in front of Selena but accidentally shot her instead.
After shooting Selena, Saldívar fled to her truck and refused to surrender to police for over nine hours, leading to a standoff with law enforcement. Saldívar was ultimately arrested and charged with first-degree murder. During her trial, Saldívar claimed that the shooting was an accident, but evidence presented at the trial suggested otherwise. In 1995, Saldívar was found guilty of Selena’s murder and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.
Selena’s death was a huge loss for the Latin music community and her fans, who were devastated by the news. She had achieved immense success as a Tejano artist, breaking down barriers for Latin music and paving the way for future generations of Latina musicians. Her legacy continues to live on, and she remains an inspiration to many for her talent, charisma, and dedication to her fans.