BAYTOWN, Texas – A man who police said is a registered sex offender is facing a murder charge after he shot and killed his estranged wife in front of police in Baytown, investigators said.
Officers were called to a home in the 1900 block of Mississippi Street around 5:45 p.m. Sunday for reports of an intruder.
When officers arrived, they said the suspect, Elrey Gonzalez, 39, chased his estranged wife, Elva Gonzalez, 41, out of the front door of her home.
Seconds later, in front of police officers, Gonzalez pulled out a handgun and shot his wife several times, killing her on the front lawn.
“The victim was coming out of the house being followed by her estranged husband.
The husband has a handgun, he fires that handgun at the victim,” a Baytown police officer said. “This prompted our officers to return fire at him.”
One of the officers' shots grazed the estranged husband, Lt. Steve Dorris said.
Grazed by a shotgun blast, Elrey Gonzalez was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and then arrested.
He is being held at the Baytown Jail but is expected to be taken to the Harris County Jail.
Elrey's brother, Dennis Gonzalez, said Elrey and Elva married less than a year ago, but Elrey recently moved out and believed she was cheating on him.
“It's just not the type of woman she is. It's not in her character to do things like that. She loved him. She really, really truly loved my brother,” said Dennis Gonzalez. “She was a godsend for my brother.”
Neighbors who knew the couple said they had been having serious marital problems.
A friend, Joann Rosas, says she called Ms. Gonzalez early Sunday after seeing threats posted on Elrey Gonzalez’ Facebook page saying:
“That she was cheating and if she didn’t come back to him, she was going to see the real hand,” Rosas said. Rosas also says she doesn’t believe Ms. Gonzalez knew about her husband’s dark past.
Court records show he was convicted of sexual assault of a child in 2005, and later charged with failing to register as a sex offender in 2012. Elrey Gonzalez also has a long history of arrests on other charges including drug possession, assault of a family member, and felon in possession of a gun.
Before last week, Rosas says the couple seemed happy.
“It was a beautiful picture, beautiful picture. She was so happy, they were always together. They were going to church, they were having Bible study here.” Rosas said.
The suspect’s brother, Dennis Gonzalez said he helped Elva change the locks on her door Saturday. That same day, he says she called police to report the threats, and ask for a restraining order.
“She was concerned about him because he was making threats and posting stuff on Facebook,” said Dennis Gonzalez.
Despite the problems, Dennis Gonzalez said their families never imagined the conflict would end this way.
“I love him because he's my brother, but I also love Elva and it's very hard. We got to live with this for the rest of our lives,” said Dennis Gonzalez.
Elva Gonzalez had two children, ages 16 and 21. Police said the children were at home during the shooting. Both were unharmed.
Gonzalez is in custody in the Baytown Municipal Jail and is expected to face a judge Monday afternoon in Houston, police said.