A teenage boy and three members of his family are charged with murder after they allegedly chased down and fatally shot a man in what Texas police called “a tragic case of mistaken identity.”
Eddie Clark, 29, died Monday after he was shot while driving through the Westminster Village Subdivision in Harris County. The sheriff’s office said in a press release that the shooting caused Clark’s dark gray Dodge Challenger to crash into a tree.
The vehicle had “multiple bullet strikes to the passenger side” and was found abandoned in the front yard of a home, authorities said. Clark managed to exit the car but collapsed nearby. He was airlifted to the hospital where he died of his injuries.
Joe Argueta, 19; his mother, Florinda Argueta, 39; his father, Luis Argueta, 45; and uncle, Margarito Alcantar, 29; were all charged with murder in connection to Clark’s death. The teen and his mother were arrested and released on bond, court documents show. The father and uncle have not yet been taken into custody and are wanted by authorities, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.
According to Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, the family said they wanted to confront another teenager they believed had repeatedly vandalized their home and cars. They apparently thought the teen — a male friend of Joe’s ex-girlfriend — drove a black Dodge Charger.
When the family saw what they believed to be the suspect’s car driving through their neighborhood late Monday night, they attempted to stop the vehicle in the street — but it was the wrong car, authorities said.
“The victim, Eddie Clark, lived in the Westminster Village Subdivision, and was on his way home when he was confronted by the Arguetas,” the sheriff’s office said. “Eddie Clark was driving a dark gray Dodge Challenger, not a black Dodge Charger. Eddie Clark was not known by the Arguetas and investigators did not receive any information that Eddie Clark was involved in the ongoing dispute.”
Joe Argueta told deputies that his mother came up with a plan for the family to stay up all night and wait for the person who had been vandalizing their home so they could “deal with them,” according to a criminal complaint.
Alcantar and an unidentified woman drove an SUV to the end of the family’s street to “set up” and wait for the suspect, according to the complaint. When the uncle spotted what he thought was a black Dodge Charger, he called the family back at home.
The complaint states that the family used two vehicles, including the SUV, to block Clark’s car. When Clark drove through a yard to escape, Joe along with his father and uncle allegedly chased him on foot.
Part of the incident was captured on a neighbor’s doorbell camera and appears to show three people chasing after Clark’s car. One person is seen in the video holding what authorities believe to be a baseball bat and another is armed with a gun, according to the complaint. The footage does not capture the crash but the sound is “audible on the video,” it states.
Joe allegedly admitted to deputies that he had armed himself with a gun before chasing after the car and fired as the driver attempted to flee, according to the complaint.
Clark was shot at least once in the torso. Authorities said in the complaint that he also suffered injuries related to the crash but they “were not causative” to his death.
The family could not be reached Thursday at phone numbers listed for them, and attorney information was not available.