Police identify shooter who killed girlfriend, woman's father, in Far East El Paso

Double Murder mother and father killed

EL PASO, Texas - The man who shot and killed his girlfriend, and the woman's father, died of a self-inflicted gunshot, said El Paso Police.

Police Friday identified the gunman as 25-year-old Jose Manuel Varela. The victims were identified as 25-year-old Stephanie Herrera and 45-year-old Enrique Herrera.

Officers responded to a 911 call of shots fired at a residence in the 14500 block of Ava Leigh at about 4 am Thursday morning.

When they arrived at the scene, officers found the Herreras at the scene without signs of life. Both sustained fatal gunshot wounds, police said.

Moments later, officers located a red Dodge truck driven by Varela, allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed along Rich Beem.  Varela collided into a rock wall about five miles away from the scene of the deadly shooting.

Varela died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head prior to hitting the rock wall, police said.  Investigators recovered a handgun inside the red Dodge truck. 

Police said an investigation revealed Varela confronted Stephanie Herrera the previous evening at a local establishment. 

At 3:46 am Thursday, Varela drove up to the Herreras' residence in a red Dodge pickup. Enrique Herrera was allegedly shot and killed by Varela as Enrique Herrera approached the front door.

Once inside the residence, Varela allegedly shot Stephanie Herrera. Police said that as Stephanie Herrera was being tended to by two other people inside the home, Varela fired another round, striking the woman a second time.

Stephanie Herrera died as a result of "being shot the second time," police said.

University Medical Center of El Paso confirmed Jose Varela was an associate:

"Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go to the families of the three El Pasoans who were killed early Thursday in a tragic situation on El Paso's east side. A UMC Associate was one of the three people killed. While our local law enforcement continues its investigation into this terrible event and what led to the loss of three lives, our condolences go to their loved ones, friends and those who cared about them."

The family's neighbor tells ABC-7 a younger sibling jumped the backyard fence to get help.

"I opened it and said what's going on, what happened? He said please help me, someone's shooting at the house. Someone's shooting at my house, he said. And I opened the door and he came to the living room. Somebody at the same time, rang the bell and I looked through the door and said it's just a teenager kid. It was the one of the younger sisters looking for him, so I opened the door and he said please come our father is wounded," Victor Carzoli said. 

Carzoli tells ABC-7 he and his daughters went to the hom and found both of the victims dead.

"We went to the house and that's when I saw the mother laying on the driveway, with the daughter, was hugging the daughter and she said your dad is wounded. So both of them, both kids went into the house and I stayed there with the lady, the mother and daughter. And I heard yelling they were both yelling and I was afraid the murderer was still there. So I said who did this? She didn't even answer, she said, her boyfriend, her boyfriend. And I went over to the house and looked over the door to the right and saw the man, the father laying on the floor. A lot of glass, shattered glass on the floor and the kids were yelling, he's dead, he's dead."

Carzoli says immediately after, after police arrived. He tells ABC-7 the family is in his prayers.

"Nobody deserves that kind of tragedy and they seem to me like decent people, good people. We never said anything but good wishes for my neighbor. He always said, have a good day neighbor, that's all. I  didn't have a chance to know him well, but what I saw really broke my heart," Carzoli said.

A friend of the victim's and the shooter said he was in disbelief when he received the news.

"[Stephanie] was fun to be with," Kyle Ibarra said. "If you were feeling down, she would make you feel good." Ibarra echoed the same sentiment for Enrique. "The father would give the shirt off the back to you," he said. " he did the best for his daughters and his family."




comments powered by Disqus