HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A beloved car salesman was killed just two days after his stepson was murdered in the same house. Now, Houston police are trying to solve both murders as families grieve.
The tragic set of events began Monday night when 37-year-old Edwin Hill was shot and killed inside his home in the 8200 block of Swiss Lane in southeast Houston. At the time, investigators said they believe two cars and possible jewelry were stolen.
Then, on Wednesday night, 59-year-old Anthony Merchant and his wife went to the house to apparently retrieve a car. Police said several men jumped out of a separate vehicle and fired several shots into the Merchants' car. Anthony died at a hospital. His wife was unharmed.
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"Anthony's dead," his elderly father, Billy Merchant, told ABC13 on Thursday. "He was to come over here, (to my home) Thursday, which is today. But he got killed before and didn't get to make it."
The elder Merchant said he had just seen Anthony on Tuesday, the day after his stepson was killed. At the time, Merchant didn't offer many details other than that he would return two days later.
"Anthony went over to Edwin's to pick up the car, and that's when somebody came and shot him," said Billy, who was told of the death by another adult child.
Anthony Merchant was a long-time car salesman who had worked at the Friendswood location of Star Hyundai for more than a decade. His Facebook was peppered with car listings and live broadcasts showcasing cars he had for sale.
"You don't expect things like this to happen to people you know, and some of us loved him," said Chris Russell, Merchant's former co-worker. "We really did. He was one of us, a brother to us, an uncle to us."
Russell said employees at Big Star Hyundai saw Merchant as an older uncle or father figure, always eager to offer advice. They said he also loved fancy cars and owned several high-end cars that he let his children use in their aspiring rap videos.
"Everybody knew him as 'Big Meech' Anthony Merchant. I called him Mr. Merchant, because I had so much respect for him and his work ethic, always did the right thing. He was a great mentor to a lot of younger people, myself included. We're all missing him greatly right now," Russell said.
Houston police do not believe the shootings were random but also do not have any suspects under arrest.
Neighbors on Swiss Lane are reluctant to speak out with two murders in three days. It's unclear exactly how many cars and how much merchandise are missing from the home.
If you have any information on the murder of Edwin Hill or his stepfather Anthony Merchant, you are urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8277).
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