A father has been charged with murder on Friday after allegedly shooting a drunk driver moments after he plowed into his truck killing his two young sons.
David Barajas, 31, and his sons, 12-year-old David Jr. and 11-year-old Caleb, were about 50 yards from their Houston-area home when a car crashed into them on a dark rural road.
The tragedy unfolded just after 11pm when the Barajas’ family car ran out of gas along County Road 144 about 30 miles from Houston, MyFox Houston reported..
Caleb and David were helping push their father’s stalled truck when a car driven by 21-year-old Jose Banda slammed into the vehicle from behind.
The older of the two brother was killed on the spot, while his 11-year-old brother was airlifted to a hospital, where he eventually succumbed to his injuries.
The Harris County Medical Examiner said just moments after the fatal crash, Banda died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Police said no weapon has been recovered at the scene, but shots were heard after the crash.
Janie Tellez, Banda’s aunt, came to her nephew’s defense, demanding that his killer be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
‘It was an accident. He didn't purposely do that,’ Tellez told ABC13. 'Whoever did it is getting away with murdering my nephew. He deserves justice.’
Brazoria County sheriff's investigator Dominick Sanders said Monday that witnesses told authorities they saw Barajas, right after the crash, walk to his home and then return a few minutes later and approach Banda's vehicle.
Evidence showed one shot was fired, he said.
'Every time we would pursue a lead, it always came back to Mr. Barajas,' Sanders said. 'We have numerous statements placing him there at the car in close proximity to the victim at the time the gunshot was fired.'
Members of the Barajas family have been accused since the accident.
After the accident and shooting, the Barajas told KHOU 11 News Wednesday that someone has threatened a drive-by shooting at the family’s home, forcing the grieving family to go into hiding.
According to the slain boys’ parents, someone wrote a message on Facebook accusing Cindy Barajas of shooting Banda.
‘I don’t know why people would think something like that or why people would try to accuse them of something when they already have two babies lost,’ said Sally Roman, who was friends with the two young victims.
Barajas was indicted for murder Friday and turned himself in Sunday. He was being held Monday in the Brazoria County Jail on a $450,000 bond.
Court records did not list an attorney for him.
Gabriel Barajas, David Barajas' brother, had previously said his sibling had remembered the crash as a 'blur' and called speculation that his brother or another family member might have been responsible for Banda's murder 'ugly.'
Barajas' wife, Cindy, was in the truck when it was hit, along with the couple's 8-year-old daughter and 3-month-old son.
A search of Barajas' home found ammunition that is consistent with the bullet that killed Banda, but authorities have not located the weapon used in the shooting, Sanders said. The case is 'going to be much more difficult if we don't have a weapon,' he added.
Gunshot residue tests were done on both Barajas and Banda, and authorities are still waiting for those results, Sanders said.
Investigators also are awaiting DNA test results of some 'biological material' that was found at the scene.
Sanders declined to elaborate on the material that is being tested.
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