Man accused of fatally shooting acquaintance’s ex-boyfriend at Crosby home, sheriff says

Full Screen
1 / 6

Texas Department of Public Safety

Photo posted 10/9/2020

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A man was charged with murder in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred in late August, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Friday.

The suspect, identified as Daniel Valenzuela, 24, is charged with murder in the Aug. 24 shooting death of Rigoberto Hernandez, 28, authorities said.

Valenzuela has a criminal history dating back to 2015. Prior charges include assault of a family member impeding breathing, theft, driving while intoxicated and assault causing bodily injury, records show.

Hernandez was shot to death on Tuesday, Aug. 25, authorities said. At approximately 7:22 a.m., deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a residence in the 500 block of Sundown Meadows Street in response to a report a firearm was discharged there. As deputies were en route to the scene, they received a second call for service from the location. The caller reported a man had been shot at the home.

When deputies arrived on scene, they located a man, later identified as Hernandez, with no signs of life inside a mobile home. Hernandez had sustained a gunshot wound to his chest.

A witness told deputies the suspects fled the scene in a blue vehicle described as a four-door Honda Accord.

Investigators had the witness detained in a patrol vehicle for questioning, according to court documents. The witness said he had been living with Hernandez for approximately two weeks. He told deputies Hernandez had been exchanging texts with his ex-girlfriend Ana Laura Cortez at about 5 a.m. that morning and the pair agreed she would come over to collect her clothing and other belongings from the residence. Cortez arrived around an hour later with an unknown man in a blue four-door Honda Accord. After Cortez collected her things, she and the victim began arguing. At some point, Cortez called out to the man she arrived with, who then entered the residence while pulling out a handgun. The man attempted to wrestle Hernandez.

Upon hearing the commotion, the witness ran inside the home with a machete in an attempt to defend Hernandez, according to court documents. When the witness attempted to get in between Hernandez and the other man, Cortez pulled the witness away, causing him to fall to the ground. At some point, the man Ana had arrived with attempted to shoot both Hernandez and the witness. The witness told deputies, Hernandez grabbed a rifle and fired a single shot at the man. The witness added that he believed that shot struck the man. The man then rushed toward the Honda Accord, firing multiple rounds toward Hernandez before driving off. The victim and witness then ran outside and watched the man drive away.

The witness told authorities he ran back inside the mobile home to contact police. When he stepped back outside, he observed Hernandez lying unresponsive on the ground. Then, Cortez and the man returned to the scene. The man exited the vehicle and fired several more shots at Hernandez and the witness, who picked up a rifle and fired one round at the man. After dragging Hernandez back in the mobile home, the witness was directed by the dispatcher to perform CPR on Hernandez until paramedics arrived on-scene.

The confrontation was captured in part on a bystander’s cellphone, according to court documents.

Shortly after, Cortez’s friend told investigators Cortez and the man, known to the friend only as Dani V, arrived at her residence that night and appeared rushed and nervous. The friend said the pair showered and changed clothes before leaving.

Investigators later identified Dani V as Daniel Valenzuela.

On Monday, Sept. 30, at approximately 2:15 p.m., Jacinto City police officers arrested Valenzuela, who was driving a stolen vehicle. At the time of the arrest, he was in possession of multiple firearms and narcotics, authorities said. Valenzuela has since been transported to the Harris County Jail.

About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.