Robert Marquez, 55, was shot to death June 9 in the 600 block of Rushcreek in north Houston. He owned a private security company and was patrolling the area around a townhome complex nearby where recently residents were targeted by robbers.
Houston police say a man in a skeleton mask approached Marquez's unmarked car to rob him. Scared off by his uniform, the man took off in a white Ford Expedition that was waiting for him. Marquez chased the SUV. It circled back, police say. One of the two men inside shot Marquez, who was supposed to be at the airport picking up his wife after his patrol.
"I knew something was wrong," said Sara Marquez, now a widow.
As a licensed security guard who often patrolled high-crime areas, Marquez always tried to prepare his wife and four children for the worst.
"He always told me there was a chance he could never come home and it would be his last," she said. "No matter how much you prepare for something like this, you are just not prepared."
Marquez, a former law enforcement officer, took his job seriously, according to his wife. He wanted to make the areas he patrolled safer for families. He was on the phone with 911 as he chased his killer.
"If he chased them, it was because he knew he needed to get this person, to prevent it from happening to another family," Sara said.
A memorial now stands where Marquez was shot. Paul Williams, a friend since high school, describes Marquez as a "phenomenal guy."
"Everyone says this guy was the best guy, but he really was," Williams told Eyewitness News.
They hope his murder will be solved.
"For taking someone like Robert from people who a lot of people cared about, they need to be punished," said Williams.
"Someone out there knows something. It can't happen again to another family," added Sara Marquez.
Police are expected to release the license plate number of the suspect's vehicle Thursday. They have already released surveillance photos of it. Its rear passenger window is broken out.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Houston police or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. A cash reward is being offered. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
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