Family of slain Houston security guard wants answers


They were home celebrating a birthday when they heard Jose Argueta had been shot and killed, allegedly by the security guard he was called in to replace.

"It's going to be hard because he was a really good brother and a really good son to her," said Maria Mendez-Argueta, the victim's sister.

The family of 38-year-old Jose Argueta was overcome with grief after learning of the sudden death of their loved one.

Argueta was killed Saturday outside of La Veracruzana, a meat market and taqueria in the 1200 block of West Road at Veterans Memorial.

"His manager had told him he needed to go cover for the guy they had fired, but the guy had said he was going to kill him, so he was scared," Mendez-Argueta said.

According the Harris County Sheriff's Office, 56-year-old Gregory Griffin was arrested at the scene and charged with murder.

Deputies said Griffin, who was also a security guard, was fired a few weeks ago but kept returning to the market to work. It was when Argueta confronted Griffin that he pulled out his gun, officials said.

Argueta's family said he feared for his safety.

"My brother called his manager and said, 'There is going to be a problem. I don't want to go to work unless you take this guy out of the business," Mendez-Argueta said.

The shooting happened around 2pm. The family told us they were not notified until 10pm -- eight hours after their loved one's death.

The family was home celebrating their father's birthday the entire day, not knowing what had happened.

"We didn't know anything about my brother until we started getting worried about him, not knowing what happened to him," Mendez-Argueta said. "Why did we have to search and find out what happened to my brother?"

The family also said they want to know why the company both Argueta and Griffin worked for -- Texas Pioneer Control -- would allow Griffin to continue to return to the La Veracruzana after being fired and why the company did not contact their family after the shooting.

"He should have had the guts to go up there and say 'you're fired,'" brother Jose Agustine Argueta said. "That was his employee. He shouldn't have showed up there."

We reached out to Texas Pioneer Control for comment. They have not returned our calls.

Please stay with Eyewitness News and for updates as we continue following this story.

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