A man in Houston who was out on a date learned that someone had conned him out of $40 by posing as a parking valet. He fled the restaurant, shot the con artist dead, and then “nonchalantly” came back, according to the authorities.
In Texas’ Aransas County, to the north of Corpus Christi, the man, 29-year-old Erick Aguirre, was taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with murder in the death of 46-year-old Elliot Nix on April 11. According to court documents, he was extradited to Harris County, where he was arraigned on Thursday and booked into jail on a $200,000 bond.
Mr. Aguirre’s attorney, Brent Mayr, refrained from commenting on Friday.
A charging document claims that Mr. Aguirre went out to dinner with Melanie Castillo on April 11; Ms. Castillo admitted in a voluntary statement that she and Mr. Aguirre were dating.
They each took a different car to Rodeo Goat, a hamburger joint east of Houston’s business district. According to the court statement, a man contacted them after they had parked and informed them that parking would cost $20 for each vehicle, but that if they showed a receipt from their lunch, their money would be repaid. The man was compensated by Mr. Aguirre, and the pair then headed to Rodeo Goat.
However, the couple was informed by a staff member at the restaurant that the man was “a scammer” and that he was not employed by the parking lot when they got there, according to the charging document. In her testimony to the police, Ms. Castillo claimed that Mr. Aguirre “sprinted to his car” as she waited on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.
The tweet below confirms the news:
A Texas man on a date who paid $40 to park, only to learn inside a Houston burger joint that he was scammed, allegedly went back and fatally shot the man posing as an attendant and then returned to his date, according to court records. https://t.co/ZblbqzxndA
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 28, 2023
Witness Claims Texas Man Pulled Out Gun in Restaurant Parking Lot, Fled After Firing Shot
According to a court filing, Jacob Ray, a witness who works at a smoke shop down the street from Rodeo Goat, told the police that he saw Mr. Aguirre dash to his car and pull out a pistol. According to the charging statement, Mr. Ray told the police that Mr.
Aguirre then fled from view but that he heard a gunshot and then observed Mr. Aguirre “nonchalantly walking back to his car with the gun in his hand.” According to court documents, Mr. Ray informed the police that he observed Mr. Aguirre return to Rodeo Goat and put the gun back in his car.
It wasn’t known what kind of gun Mr. Aguirre owned or if he had bought it lawfully. A comprehensive law allowing most persons 21 or older to carry a pistol without a license was passed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in 2021.
Ms. Castillo said that she was unable to observe or hear Mr. Aguirre’s subsequent actions. She informed police that he came back a short while later and claimed to have “just scared the guy” and that “everything was fine,” according to the charging document.
The charge statement states that after entering the restaurant, Mr. Aguirre and Ms. Castillo were almost at their table when she remarked that he appeared uncomfortable and advised them to find somewhere else to eat.
In a statement, the Houston Police Department said that its officers had reacted to reports of gunfire in the neighborhood that evening. They later discovered Mr. Nix unconscious with a gunshot wound to the right side of his upper back. According to the authorities, Mr. Nix was transferred to a hospital where doctors declared him dead.
A day after the police released surveillance images of Ms. Castillo and Mr. Aguirre identifying them as persons of interest wanted for questioning in the shooting, Ms. Castillo was questioned by the police two days after the shooting. Without any accusations being brought against her, she was released.
According to Ms. Castillo’s attorney, Rick DeToto, she was “shocked to see a photo of herself on the news and to hear that she was a person of interest.”
She was devastated to hear about the passing, according to Mr. DeToto. She was uninformed of the shooting because she was just having dinner with the defendant.
The following court date for Mr. Aguirre is June 27.
You may count on us to keep you informed if there is a new development about this piece of news. In the meantime, if you follow our Twitter account, you will be able to read the most recent updates on news that is relevant to this topic.
Click on the following links for more news from the Journalization: