Fiancé of man shot, killed on freeway after crash says shooting not justified

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Fiancé of man shot, killed on freeway says shooting not justified
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Maribel Cavazos and her fiance, Israel Gonzalez, were out celebrating their upcoming wedding Saturday night before getting in the crash and the altercation.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Maribel Cavazos and her fiancé, Israel Gonzalez, were out celebrating their upcoming wedding Saturday night.

"What was supposed to be a fun night, turned into nightmare for me," Cavazos said.

Maribel says they were on their way home from their joint bachelor and bachelorette party around 3 a.m. Sunday. What happened next she could have never imagined.

"If we had left early, maybe this could have been avoided," Cavazos said.

She said the couple was on Interstate 59 near Spur 527 when a car started swerving into their lane.

"We were trying to avoid getting hit," she said.

Even so, the driver of the other car ended up hitting them. Maribel says Gonzalez parked his car after the crash and the other driver stopped too. Maribel said Gonzalez then went up to the other driver's window and moments later, Gonzalez was shot by the driver.

"When I opened the door, I heard the gun shot. I go to the back of the car, he looks at me and he tells me, 'He shot me,' and I freaked out. He said, 'I'm falling,'" Maribel said.

Gonzalez was shot in the chest and died at the scene, police said.

The other driver told police Gonzalez had a knife and he fired the shot in self-defense, police said. Officers say the man also said Gonzalez punched him. Maribel said that's not true. She said Gonzalez did not have a knife or any weapon on him and he did not punch him.

"He did not have a knife on him. He was on the ground, there was nothing there," said Maribel.

Police will not say whether a knife was found at the scene. They also will not say whether the man had injuries to indicate he had been punched.

Maribel said her fiance died in her arms just one week before their wedding.

"He was a father, a brother, a husband-to-be," Maribel said.

A grand jury will decide whether or not charges are filed against the driver. Police have not released the name of the other driver since charges haven't been filed.