Four members of one Texas family are accused of killing a Houston-area man who they believed had vandalized their home and vehicles, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
But Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the killing “seems like a tragic case of mistaken identity.”
Joe Argueta, 19; his father Luis Argueta, 45; his mother Florinda Argueta, 39; and his uncle Margarito Alcantar, 29, face murder charges in connection with the death of Eddie Reece Clark, 29, who authorities say was shot and killed in his northwest Houston neighborhood while driving home on Monday.
According to investigators, the events that led to Clark’s killing began before the shooting, when the Argueta family filed several reports with the sheriff’s office regarding damage to their home and vehicles.
One of the reports listed a black Dodge Charger as the “possible suspect vehicle,” according to the sheriff’s office.
At about 11:30 p.m. Monday, Harris County deputies say, Joe Argueta spotted what he believed was the suspect vehicle driving in the neighborhood.
Members of the family tried to block the vehicle — which deputies say was a dark gray Dodge Challenger, not a black Dodge Charger — with their own vehicles, the sheriff’s office said in a news release posted on Nixle.
Clark was driving the gray Dodge Challenger, the sheriff said in the release.
“Two male family members approached the Challenger on foot,” the sheriff’s office said in the release. “One male was armed with a baseball bat and the other male with a pistol. When the Challenger attempted to flee, the male with the pistol fired multiple gunshots at the passenger side of the Challenger.”
Joe Argueta told deputies he fired the shots at the vehicle until it crashed, according to the news release.
Clark lived in the subdivision and was on his way home, the release said, adding that Clark was not known to the Arguetas and was not known to be involved in the ongoing dispute.
David Bires, an attorney for Joe Argueta, said his client was innocent, telling CNN in a phone call, “He is 19 years old, with no prior criminal history; and he did not shoot anybody; and he is not guilty of murder.”
When asked about the statement issued by the sheriff’s office saying his client told investigators he fired the shots, Bires said, “That’s the problem with early statements made in a case without knowing the full facts of the case.”
Joe Argueta was arrested on the night of the shooting, the sheriff’s office said, and his mother was interviewed at the scene and released. Two other members of his family fled the scene. Investigators say that after obtaining and reviewing surveillance video, four members of the family were charged with murder.
A district court judge in Harris County set bond for Joe Argueta at $50,000 and for his mother Florinda Argueta at $20,000. Both have posted bond, court records show. Luis Argueta and Margarito Alcantar have not been arrested, according to the Harris County District Clerk website.
CNN has reached out to Florinda Argueta’s attorney and has not heard back.
CNN has tried to reach Eddie Clark’s family for comment.