Man arrested in connection with violent home invasion in Pasadena

Pasadena police have arrested a man in connection with a violent home invasion and the chief said the suspect is also a person of interest in a woman’s death.

Gilbert Viera, 35, is charged with aggravated assault and burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit a felony, police said.

Officers were called to a home on Harris Avenue early Thursday morning after receiving a report that a man had kicked in the front door, armed with a tire iron.

A person inside was able to fight off the intruder, who got away in the victim’s vehicle but left behind a gun.

Investigators determined the gun was one of two guns missing from the home of a homicide victim. Officers arrived to find Patrice Ward dead in her bed on Tuesday morning with head injuries. They said her home on Willow Oaks Circle was ransacked and the two guns were missing.

Police said they arrested Gilbert after locating the victim’s vehicle from Thursday’s case.

“They located a blood trail, followed it to a townhouse there, which happens to be three doors down from the homicide victim and the suspect was taken into custody there this morning,” Pasadena Chief Josh Bruegger said.

The chief said detectives are trying to tie up some loose ends on the homicide case.

“She was just a colorful woman, a sweet woman, a kind woman,” said neighbor Carol Wilson.

Candles and flowers were seen outside of Ward’s home on Thursday afternoon.

“She was really a unique, special person and we will remember her forever,” Wilson said.

Chief Bruegger said Viera had recently served time in prison for burglary and evading but had just gotten out at the end of last year. Investigators are trying to determine whether Viera is linked to any other recent crimes, he said.

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