ELGIN, Texas (KXAN) — A 35-year-old man was shot during a robbery in Elgin early Friday morning. Police say Abel Garza, who also went by Raul Garcia, was airlifted to University Medical Center Brackenridge where he died about an hour later.
Police said Friday evening they have developed a person of interest in the case and are actively working to identify this person.
Police were called to the 400 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard around 1:15 a.m. for a report of a robbery and shooting.
Arriving officers found Garza lying on the floor at the entrance of his house with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to his abdomen. A witness told Elgin police she was sitting with Garza in front of the house when they were approached by a man who demanded money.
When Garza refused, the man pulled out a gun and shot the victim. The suspect, described by police only as a Black male wearing a dark-colored hoodie, then ran from the scene.
Family members of the victim say the circumstances surrounding Garza’s death don’t add up.
“He was a nice person. He didn’t have problems with nobody,” said Jose Gonzalez, Garza’s cousin. “It doesn’t make sense because he was not a troublemaker or anything.”
The victim’s autopsy has been scheduled for Saturday.
Elgin police told KXAN this is the first murder in the town in as many as three years.
“It is uncommon in Elgin for us to have a murder and so, we pull all the stops out and go after it,” said Chief Chris Bratton, Elgin Police Department. “At this point, this becomes a capital murder as far as we’re concerned, and we will pursue this one as vigorously as possible, calling in whatever resources we need.”
Chief Bratton said he has plans to call in the Texas Rangers on Monday, to get their help and resources to identify the person of interest EPD has developed. Bratton said they have already received assistance from Bastrop Co. Sheriff’s Office and the Bastrop Police Department. Bratton says it’s what you do in a small agency.
“I am not at all bashful about calling in whoever we need to call and say we want some assistance, we need some help, and we want you to come make this happen,” he said.
“I know they’re working hard to find whoever did this to him,” added Gonzalez. “[The suspect] He’s still out there and I hope whoever did this gets caught because if he already did it once, he can do it again.”
Gonzalez says his cousin did not deserve to die the way he did.
Chief Bratton said all Elgin PD detectives were off this weekend. After the homicide was reported, they were called in to work and will be working through the weekend to try and get some resolution on this case.
“We hope that people get angry that something like this could happen in the community, and the community then helps us identify and find the people responsible, and provides the information we need to move forward,” said Chief Bratton. “The community tends to come together and give us a big hand in making these things solvable.”
Elgin police are asking anyone with information on the homicide to call them at 512-285-5757.