Family desperate for answers after loved one killed while trying to stop robbery on Long Point Road

Daniela Hurtado Image
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Family searches for answers after man trying to stop robbery killed
Joel Villarreal's family continues to search for answers after he was killed while trying to stop a robbery on Long Point Road in Spring Branch.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A family is desperate for answers after their loved one was shot and killed Tuesday night in the Spring Branch area.

The victim's family said he was trying to stop a robbery in west Houston on Long Point Road near Antoine when he was shot to death.

Investigators said police still don't have a description of the suspect or suspects in this deadly shooting.

READ MORE: Man shot and killed in Spring Branch was trying to stop smoke shop robbers, HPD says

The family of the victim identified him as 43-year-old Joel Villarreal.

They're devastated and gathered in the same place their loved one was shot and killed just 24 hours earlier.

"The morgue told us he was there, but they wouldn't let us see him. I just want to see him," Villarreal's sister, Veronica Gonzales, said.

Gonzales said the family has only learned bits and pieces of what happened to Villarreal from people across the community.

"So my brother went over there to help him, and he got shot. And he lost his life to go help somebody else," Gonzales said.

Joe Luis Villarreal said his brother was the kind of person to help others.

"At the end of the day, he was a good man. He would give the shirt off his back," he said.

Police are still trying to connect the dots to figure out who is responsible and how things escalated to this deadly level.

A good Samaritan nurse, who wanted to stay anonymous, told ABC13 she saw the man lying on the floor and stopped her car. She said she stayed with the 43-year-old until paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital.

"He didn't deserve that, and I'm not going to stop until I find out what happened to him. And they're going to pay. I'm going to make sure they pay," Gonzales said.

They sent balloons straight to heaven on Wednesday night as the family tries to wrap their head around their new reality.

If you know anything about this case, authorities urge you to contact the Houston Police Department's Homicide Division at (713) 308-3600.

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