Man and stepson killed in apparent murder-suicide

March 21, 2010 4:27:28 PM PDT
Deputies say a man shot his stepson, and then killed himself Saturday night. The shooting has left the family with nothing but questions and pain. It happened off Brownsville and Freeport in east Harris County. And we're told it started with a family fight.

"I heard the gunshots," said witness Brenda Sanchez. "I went outside and saw my brother on the floor."

Sanchez watched as her brother, Jose, died in their driveway on his 20th birthday. He was shot in the head, not at the hands of a gang or criminals. It was his stepfather on the other side of the barrel.

"I can't believe he could do something like that," said Elba Sanchez, Jose's mother and wife of the suspected shooter.

Elba is mourning her son and her husband of 12 years. While Brenda tries to comfort her mom, she can't shake from her mind what she witnessed in her own front yard.

"I told my dad, what has he done. He didn't even say nothing to me. He didn't even look at me," Brenda said. "Then I heard another shot and I looked around and I saw him falling on the floor, too."

While deputies call this a murder-suicide, the family grapples with torturous questions, like how a family member could kill the Northshore High School graduate and fisherman, whose dream was to one day open an auto repair shop.

"The last thing he did was go to a shop to pick up parts of his car that he was going to fix," said Brenda. "He never had a chance to do it."

Elba Sanchez says her husband was never violent with her or the children. She says he and her son had typical arguments, as some parents do with teenage boys, but she never expected it to escalate to this degree.


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