Tx. Woman Killed While Setting Up Garage Sale to Raise Money for 5th Anniversary Trip with Husband
The suspect engaged Elizabeth Barraza in conversation before fatally shooting her
A Texas woman was fatally shot while setting up for a garage sale to raise money for a trip she and her husband planned to take for their fifth anniversary.
“I had to trade our fifth anniversary for her funeral,” Elizabeth Barraza’s husband Sergio Barraza told reporters at a Wednesday news conference. “We need justice for Liz. I need justice for Liz. I love you, Liz.”
The victim, 29, was in the driveway of her Tomball home just before 7 a.m. on Jan. 25 when she was approached by an unknown assailant driving an older dark-colored Nissan Frontier pickup truck, according to footage captured on a neighbor’s home security camera, police said. The suspect walked up the driveway and appeared to engage Barraza in conversation before pulling out a gun and shooting her multiple times at point blank range and then fleeing the scene.
Police have not determined whether the suspect was male or female.
Barraza was taken to Memorial Hermann hospital where she died from her injuries.
“It is so sad my wife passed away in the same hospital we did so many hours of volunteering at,” her husband said.
Police are still investigating a motive. It is not clear if the killing was a targeted or random attack.
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Police say that because it was still dark out and the video footage is grainy, details about the attack — such as the killer’s sex, and the interaction between the killer and victim — are difficult to ascertain.
“Other than there is interaction on the video, it is not clear if it is an altercation,” Harris County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jason Spencer tells PEOPLE.
Sergio told reporters that he had left for work shortly before the shooting occurred. “I just left for work that morning and I am just happy that the last words I got to say to my beautiful wife [were], ‘I love you,’” he says. “And she said, ‘I love you too.’”
Barraza’s father Robert Nuelle said at the news conference that his daughter was a “simple, kind and generous person” who spent her time volunteering at hospitals. He said she converted a “passion for Star Wars into countless smiles on the faces of sick children and adults desperately in need of them.”
The morning she was killed, the victim was “just hoping to sell a few things to make a little extra spending money for their fifth anniversary trip. They planned to leave on Sunday,” her father said.
“He shot and killed an unarmed and defenseless young woman in a brutal act that demands justice,” the victim’s father continued. “We never imagined a life without her. We still can’t and we never will.”
Crime Stoppers has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Barraza’s killer.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.