The incident started when Alaniz drove over to her daughter's home in Cypress, where the younger woman and her husband 32-year-old Gregorio Gaytan were in the middle of a fight. Deputies said the couple's two young kids were also home at the time.
Officials said Alaniz got a call from her daughter saying she and the kids were being held at gunpoint by Gaytan. When Alaniz arrived, she reportedly started banging on the garage door, calling for him to release them. ABC13 obtained surveillance video from a neighbor that shows Alaniz walking up the driveway when she arrived.
That's when deputies said Gaytan came out and shot her several times in the driveway, ultimately killing her. Gaytan remains on the run.
Investigators are searching for Gregorio Gaytan, 32. He is a suspect in Thursday night's slaying of a woman in the 11300 block of Loyola Dr. in Cypress. If you have information, please call @CrimeStopHOU at 713-222-TIPS or our Homicide Division at 713-274-9100. #hounews pic.twitter.com/PiYACBgM2w— HCSOTexas (@HCSOTexas) March 12, 2021
SEE RELATED STORY: Deputies searching for 'armed and dangerous' man accused of killing mother-in-law in Cypress
ABC13 spoke with Alaniz's sister Saturday, who said that "everyone loved" Alaniz.
Alaniz is from Port Isabel, a city in Cameron County in the valley. Her sister said she would go out of her way to help anyone and "didn't know the word 'no.'"
Her family has set up a GoFundMe page for anyone interested in helping to pay for her funeral expenses.
"She had such a contagious smile and knew how to cheer everyone up," her family wrote on the GoFundMe page. "Esmie was such a wonderful sister, daughter, and an even better mother who gave up her life to protect her own daughter and grandchildren."
Alaniz leaves behind three children and four grandchildren.
Deputies ask anyone with information on Gaytan's whereabouts to call the Harris County Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit at 713-274-9100 or Crime Stoppers. He is facing a capital murder charge.
The video above is from a previous story.