HOUSTON – Four people in the same family are now charged after a man was found with a gunshot wound near a wrecked car Tuesday.
Deputies said the crash happened at 17101 Hilton Hollow around 12:30 a.m. in the Westminster Village subdivision.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Cy-Fair Fire Department responded to reports of a shooting. When deputies arrived on the scene, they located a dark gray Dodge Challenger abandoned in the front yard of a residence.
HCSO said the vehicle, which had multiple bullet strikes to the passenger side, had veered off the roadway and struck a tree. The driver, later identified as Eddie Clark III, 29, managed to exit the vehicle with a gunshot wound in his abdomen and flee a short distance on foot before he collapsed.
Cy-Fair EMS responded to the scene and determined Clark had been shot. The man was transported from the scene and went into cardiac arrest inside the ambulance, deputies said. Deputies said the ambulance then stopped at Highway 6 and Loch Katrine, where Life Flight transported the man to Hermann Hospital downtown.
Clark died from his injuries at the hospital, deputies said.
HCSO said in a news release shared Wednesday that deputies found two people at the scene, Florinda Argueta, 39, and her son, Joe Argueta, 19.
Florinda Argueta told deputies she had filed several reports with the sheriff’s office regarding people damaging their homes and vehicles. Authorities said she told them that they suspected a teenage Hispanic male friend of her son’s ex-girlfriend was responsible for the damage. Deputies said one of the reports listed a black Dodge Charger as a possible suspect vehicle.
At approximately 11:30 p.m., Joe Argueta reportedly spotted what he believed to be the suspect vehicle driving in the neighborhood. Authorities said members of the Argueta family attempted to block a dark gray Dodge Challenger on the roadway, with their own vehicles. Two male family members approached the Challenger on foot.
Deputies said one man was armed with a baseball bat and the other male with a pistol. When the Challenger attempted to flee, the male with the pistol fired multiple gunshots at the passenger side of the Challenger, authorities said. At the scene, authorities said Joe Argueta told them he was the person armed with the pistol and fired the gunshots at the vehicle until it crashed.
Joe Argueta was transported to the Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit where he provided investigators with a statement, according to authorities. Florinda Argueta was interviewed at the scene and released. Two other members of the Argueta family fled the scene before deputies arrived. They were identified as the father, Luis Argueta, 45, and the uncle, Margarito Alcantar, 29.
HCSO said after obtaining witness statements and reviewing surveillance video captured in the area of the shooting, these people were charged with murder: Joe Argueta, Luis Argueta, 45, Margarito Alcantar, 29, and Florinda Argueta.
Joe and his mother, Florinda, are the only two family members that were taken into custody.
Florinda Argueta was in court Wednesday evening charged with murder where her bond was set at $20,000.
Her son, Joe Argueta, has also been arrested and charged with murder and is accused of pulling the trigger. His bond was set at $50,000.
Both Florinda and Joe have posted bail and appeared in court Thursday at 9 a.m.
His father and uncle have been charged but remain on the run.
Remembering Eddie Clark
The victim, Eddie Clark III, lived in the Westminster Village subdivision and was on his way home when he was confronted by the Arguetas, authorities said. Clark was driving a dark gray Dodge Challenger, not a black Dodge Charger, HCSO noted, adding that Clark was not known by the Arguetas and investigators did not receive any information that Clark was involved in the ongoing dispute.
Heartbroken over the loss of one of his best friends, Chijioke Akujuobi says he’ll always remember Clark.
“People that kind of lift you up and always had like a good personality, and pretty happy. That’s how I’m going to remember him,” Akujuobi said.
As many of Clark’s friends grieve their loss, they also hope justice is served in the case.
“The people that did this, you know get justice due because you can’t make mistakes like that now with a guy so young,” said Akujuobi.
Xavier Williams is another one of Clark’s friends. The two grew up in the same subdivision and have been friends ever since. Williams said he last talked to Clark last week.
“He’s not a friend to me, he’s a brother. That’s why this hurts so much,” Williams said. “I know I might seem calm on the outside but I’m hurting so much.”
Williams said he felt like the Argueta family took the law into their own hands-on Monday.
“At the end of the day, it’s rules and protocols in how you go about certain instances and this is one of them where they went about everything wrong,” he said.
Clark leaves behind a child, two older siblings, and both parents. Williams said Clark had plans to open his own trucking company.
If anyone has any information regarding the investigation or the location of any of those who are not in custody and suspected in this case, they are asked to contact the Homicide Unit at 713-274-9100 or call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).