Families entwined after good Samaritan killing

November 12, 2010 4:15:50 PM PST
For the first time, we're hearing from the family of the good Samaritan who was murdered at a southwest Houston gas station. Samuel Irick was just trying to help a woman who was being robbed. He didn't know his life would end right there on the sidewalk.

Two families are now tied together from one terrible tragedy. All of them are pleading for information, trying to solve this case and bring a gunman to justice.

Authorities confirm the suspect was captured on surveillance video killing the 24-year-old Irick. The crime happened early Thursday morning outside a Chevron gas station at the West Loop and Beechnut. Authorities now say it appears Irick was not aware that the suspect had a weapon when he intervened in the purse snatching.

At a press conference Friday, we heard from the victim's mother as well as the husband of the woman whose person was stolen. That woman has three small kids, including a 9-month-old child.

"It wasn't someone who had done something bad; it was a mom and my wife and her parent's daughter and her brother's sister ? that's who he saved," said Dr. Jeb Wait, the husband of the woman saved. "I'm just sad that I can never see him and tell him that."

"I just liked to say I loved my son and I really don't want another mother to go through what I'm going through, and so anyone out there that know anything about this murder, please come forward," said Randi Wood, the victim's mother.

We also learned a lot more about Irick, including a life of giving to others.

"In my eyes, I think that he's a hero," said sister Sarah Wood.

Just a day after Irick died protecting a complete stranger, Sarah wants the public to know the brother she knew.

"I just want them to know that he was a really great guy," said Sarah.

The 24-year-old apparently lived a life full of helping others.

"He would come home when he was younger and he wouldn't have a shirt on his back, and I would say, 'What happened to your shirt?' and he said, 'Well, I gave it to the kid down the street,'" said Randi Wood, Irick's stepfather.

Irick grew up in Spring, where in high school his love of golf earned him a spot on the varsity team. Over the years, however, his family says drugs took him off his path. It wasn't until recently he was trying to better himself, attending community college with his sights set on community college.

"He was really focused on his future. He was looking forward to finding the right girl, getting married and having a big family," said Randi.

Family members say throughout his life, Irick always gave to others. Shaped by his own struggles, he especially looked out for the underdog.

"He would stick up for his friends, even people he didn't know in school, from the bullies," said Randi.

That was something he did when he protected a mother on Thursday morning. It was a single act that turned a man into a hero.

"I just really miss him. I'm just really sad," Sarah said.

We do know that the suspect has used the stolen credit cards in the Houston area. Authorities are still looking for that gunman. If you have any information, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.

The reward for information has been doubled to $10,000 by the husband of the woman whose purse was stolen.


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