Texas Family Targeting Vandal Allegedly Killed Innocent Neighbor in Case of Mistaken Identity
Eddie Clark, 29, was driving home when he was allegedly ambushed and fatally shot
Four Texas family members are accused of ambushing and fatally shooting a neighbor in what appears to be a case of mistaken identity.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office said the family appeared to be looking for a teen who they thought was responsible for damaging their home and vehicles.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Eddie Clark "seems like a tragic case of mistaken identity."
Charged with murder in connection with Clark's death are 19-year-old Joe Argueta, his parents Luis and Florinda Argueta and his 29-year-old uncle Margarito Alcantar.
Authorities said the family members were armed with a bat and a gun when they allegedly ambushed Clark as he was driving to his Katy home on May 17 in his dark gray Dodge Challenger.
"The suspects indicated they were trying to confront someone related to an ongoing dispute, believed to also be in a Challenger, but a black colored one," states a sheriff's press release.
Joe Argueta told a deputy that a teenager "had been damaging his home and threatening him for awhile over an ex-girlfriend," according to Florinda Argueta's criminal complaint, which was obtained by PEOPLE
Joe Argueta alleged that at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, he spotted the vehicle "that he believed was related to [the teen] drive near his home and he assumed the occupant of the vehicle was the same person," the complaint states.
According to the complaint, Joe Argueta allegedly told police he chased the Challenger on foot while his mother allegedly chased the vehicle in her car and tried to block it.
"Joe Argueta stated the vehicle tried to drive around the roadblock being created by his mother by driving through a yard," the complaint states.
Clark was allegedly attempting to drive off when he was shot, and he subsequently plowed into a tree on a neighbor's property.
Clark was able to get out of the vehicle, but he collapsed nearby.
Clark was shot once in the torso, the complaint states.
According to the complaint, police uncovered video surveillance that showed Clark's Challenger driving west "through the yard and back into the roadway, while three persons chased him down the street. One of the persons in the street was holding a long object, believed to be a baseball bat, one subject was pointing an object that appeared to be a handgun at the [victim's] vehicle, and the third subject was running down the street after the other two persons and the vehicle."
Clark was flown to Hermann Hospital where he died.
According to the sheriff's office, Luis Argueta, 45, and Alcantar fled the scene. They have not yet been apprehended.
Joe Argueta's attorney, David Bires, tells PEOPLE, "He is a 19-year-old kid with no criminal history. " Bires says his client's arraignment is on June 15 and he will plead not guilty.
An attorney for Florinda Argueta could not be reached for comment. Florinda has an arraignment scheduled for May 27. Both have been released on bail.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Harris County Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit at 713-274-9100 or call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS(8477).
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