AUSTIN (KXAN) — As police continue the investigation into a December shooting outside a central Austin strip club, the family of the man shot staged a protest at the club Monday, seeking answers to why their loved one was shot in the head.
The shooting happened on Dec. 17 at 11:28 p.m. at the Yellow Rose Nightclub off of North Lamar Boulevard. The victim, Edward Mares, 29, was taken to the hospital where he currently remains.
Shortly after the shooting, representatives of the club publicly announced that the Yellow Rose security guard who shot Mares did so because he allegedly tried to rob another man in the nightclub parking lot. Representatives of the club said that the guard shot at Mares after they saw him “brandishing a firearm.” Detectives say they found a pistol in Mares’ vehicle.
“The member of the YR [Yellow Rose] Security team fired one shot to his head preventing the robber from shooting our Yellow Security team and saved their lives,” said owners in a statement to KXAN. The owners go on to say the person who fired the shot did have a permit to carry.
APD contradicted the club, stating that they have interviewed subjects involved and said this is not a robbery case and the shooter did not have a permit.
Mares’ family has remained by his side since the incident, proclaiming his innocence in the matter. Mares’ family says they do not understand why their loved one was shot or why several rumors have circulated surrounding what led up to the incident.
“I just need justice for my son,” said Maria Rangel, the victim’s mother. “He looks at me with these eyes. I try to read his eyes. He sits there. He’s sad. I can see he’s sad because his mom has to take care of him again.”
Family members told KXAN that Mares still cannot speak, eat, walk, or go to the restroom on his own. “It’s like he’s learning all over again. They’ve gotten him to sit up. It’s just hard to see him every day. There’s days he doesn’t know who I am. There’s days he knows who I am,” Rangel added.
“He’s in there. He just can’t voice it, and that’s hard,” said the shooting victim’s sister, Amoretti Mares. “He can’t speak, so we’re speaking for him. We’re standing behind him. We’re waiting for him to be able to tell his side of the story.”
During the protest outside the Yellow Rose on Monday, family members said Mares, the father of six children, holds their family together.
“Who do I run to? If I called him, he was there and he can’t do what he used to do,” said his younger sister, Amoretti.
His mother said it is especially difficult for her to watch Mares’ children interact with him at the hospital. “It just takes his time to know who his kids are. His kids come and see him and they don’t understand,” said Rangel. “They don’t understand why. ‘That’s my daddy. He should know who I am,’ [they think,] and it’s hard to explain to a 10 year old.”
KXAN reached out to the attorney representing Yellow Rose on Monday. He referred us to the statement the club released to us on Dec. 22. It reads:
“The Yellow Rose would like to allow APD the opportunity to conclude their investigation without interference. They [The Yellow Rose] have been fully cooperative, which includes turning over detailed video evidence of the incident. The Yellow Rose considers their security team ‘heroes’ for saving innocent lives that night.”
Family members have set up a GoFundMe account for anyone wishing to donate to Mares’ immediate family.