Sailor Vegas Bray was head over heels in love. She was convinced she’d found the man of her dreams, but her boyfriend, Victor Saucedo, wasn’t so sure she was ‘the one’. When he called time on their brief romance, Victor was totally unaware that he was making the biggest mistake of his life. Vegas wasn’t about to give up on her man that easily.
Charismatic Vegas, 27, was serving in the US Navy in Southern California when she met Victor, 31. He was also a sailor, affectionately nicknamed ‘Sauce’ by his friends and known for his upbeat attitude to life.
The couple dated for just a few months, but while Vegas thought they were destined to be together, Victor didn’t agree. He was father to a seven-year-old boy from a previous relationship, who he adored, but Vegas didn’t like how much time Victor had to spend with his son’s mother.
Her jealousy was causing arguments – and for Victor, his priority was always going to be his son. At the end of 2011, the pair split up.
But Vegas wasn’t willing to let Victor walk away. She begged him to take her back and tried to convince him they were perfect for each other. When Victor refused to change his mind, her pleading turned to desperation – and rage.
By early 2012, both Vegas and Victor had left the Navy. Victor wanted to spend more time with his son, so after a decade of service, he resigned and started training at a local university with a view to working in law enforcement. Vegas found a job as a waitress at a cabaret club, but she found it difficult to move on.
For a year, Vegas was relentless in trying to win Victor back. She swung between pleading with him for a second chance and punishing him when he continued to turn her down. She spitefully slashed his car tyres, smeared peanut butter on his front door and splashed paint at his home in a desperate bid for attention.
Victor tried everything to get her to stop. He even moved flats to shake her off, but Vegas hunted him down. He reported the vandalism to police but there was little they could do. Vegas wasn’t physically harming or threatening him so he couldn’t take out a restraining order.
When Victor first mentioned to friends that he was being stalked by his ex, they laughed it off, but as months went by, they could see it was getting out of hand. Victor didn’t know what to do. He even started to wonder whether giving in to Vegas would be the easier path to take. She was never going to give up.
On October 15, 2012, the former couple met and Victor agreed that they could date again. Vegas was elated, believing she’d won him back, but Victor explained that it would just be casual – nothing serious.
It wasn’t the commitment Vegas was after. So she returned the next day… with a gun.
It was the afternoon of October 16 when Vegas went to Victor’s Imperial Beach apartment. She shot at him nine times. She had to reload the revolver after pulling the trigger six times, but even that pause didn’t bring her to her senses. Neighbours reported hearing multiple gunshots as she fired three more times.
Afterwards, Vegas dialled 911. She told the operator Victor had committed suicide and even guided police to his bullet-riddled body when they arrived. Vegas was taken in for questioning and it quickly became clear that her story didn’t add up.
The gun on the floor belonged to Vegas. And how could he have shot himself six times, reloaded the gun, then managed to pull the trigger three more times?
Vegas said she had no memory of the event and had blacked out. She was arrested, charged with first-degree murder, and denied bail.
Victor’s devastated loved ones held a candlelit vigil in his honour on the beach near his home. His young son uttered a few words. "I love him so much… so super much," he said.