Father shot, killed in front of his family

May 14, 2012 10:04:22 AM PDT
A Montgomery County family is in mourning after a Mother's Day outing ended with a father getting killed. We are hearing from neighbors of the victim who was gunned down in front of his family last night.

"I heard bam bam bam and I was like -- oh my gosh and I ran back into the house," said neighbor Rena Dawson.

Deputies say Dawson's long-time neighbor, 43-year-old Ramundo Zerate, Jr.. and his family returned home after celebrating Mother's Day at Spring Creek Park. When a fight started, the family decided to leave. But they were being followed.

"It appears that this occurred over an earlier dispute at a park in Harris County somewhere and then came back to this location and the dispute continued to the end of the driveway," said Lt. Bill Bucks with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

Ronald Fields was on his porch when he heard screaming, the gunshots and then a car speed away.

"They went down that way and they came back, went this way, that way and they came back again and then they took off," said Fields.

He says Zerate, Jr. was inside his car when he was shot, trying to drive away from the killer.

"He tried to get away because he ran over the cars in the driveway, trying to get away," said Dawson. "Well, he couldn't and then they shot again. So then he tried to go forward to run into them and then that is when they shot three more times."

His entire family, including at least two of his young boys, watched helplessly.

Dawson said, "We heard the family acaross the street hollering, 'Help help. He's still breathing! Let's go let's go!"

Zerate, Jr.'s relatives loaded him into one of their cars and rushed him to Tomball Regional Hospital, where he died.

Neighbors tell Eyewitness News Zerate, Jr. was a hard-working truck driver, a loyal husband and loving father with no fights, no weapons and no temper. So there's no telling why someone would act against him so violently, especially on Mother's Day.

"He was a very good person, a good dad, a good person. Why this would happen to him? I don't know," said Dawson.

Detectives are still looking for the killer. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male with a lot of tattoos on his body. He may be driving a green Chevy Cavalier.

Anyone with information is being asked to call the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

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