Family of Navy veteran shot and killed on North Freeway searching for answers

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of 27-year-old Mauro Gauna is grieving and searching for answers after he was found shot to death in his car on the side of the North Freeway on Wednesday evening.

Daniela Gauna, Mauro's wife of four years, said they spent the day together on Wednesday. They ran errands, bought Christmas decorations and were preparing for an upcoming trip.

Daniela says that evening, Mauro went to the grocery store, but she never expected him not to return home.

"He was like 'No, I'll go to the store'. He said, 'I'll do it for you because I know how much you love the salsa,' and so he left going to do something for me and it breaks my heart that he didn't even get to make it to the store," said Daniela.

Police say Mauro was found shot to death in his car on the side of the North Freeway, just north of I-10 near the Main Street exit around 6:40 p.m. So far, authorities do not know the motive behind the incident or who did it.

Mauro's family said he was a proud Navy veteran who recently received his nursing degree in hopes of working at the VA.

"He was going to continue to do good, giving back. He wanted to work at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. People would tell him, 'You're crazy. You need to go somewhere that pays good,' but he didn't want to do that because he wanted to make a difference and continue helping others like himself," said Daniela.

His family said Mauro was selfless, always joking, and had a laugh that could light up a room.

"Even me being the oldest, I looked up to him, because of everything that he said he was going to do. He actually did it. He was always there for us," said Mauro's older brother, Jose.

His loved ones are now desperate to know why this happened and who is responsible for his death.

"It's not going to bring him back. We already made our memories with him. Unfortunately, we are not going to be able to do so anymore, but at least that can bring justice to my brother," said Jose.

If you know anything about what happened, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers or the HPD Homicide Division.
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