Two men were killed and the 23-year-old niece of the shooter was critically wounded in what police say was a murder-suicide in Cedar Park on Saturday.
John Michael Garcia, 45, of San Antonio was shot to death and his daughter, Hailey Michelle Reyes, was transported to St. David’s Round Rock with life-threatening injuries. Reyes was on life support earlier this week and police said they believed Reyes will "likely be the second homicide victim."
Cedar Park police said the suspected shooter, Elijah Jared Stone, died at the scene of a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A police report described Stone as the “longtime estranged brother” of Garcia.
“The victims had just gotten out of their car when the suspect approached and started shooting outside the house,” said Cedar Park police spokesperson Alicia Inns.
Police said the victims spent Saturday kayaking on Lake Austin with other family members and were headed to a house on Dogwood Trail owned by another brother of Garcia. The victims were the first to arrive at the house and police said Stone shot at each of them “about three times.”
"Our victims pull into the driveway, and the best we can tell, as they're exiting their vehicle, Elijah Stone, our suspect, immediately makes contact with them," said Cedar Park detective Kristy Whitley. "Shots are fired and the other members of the family arrive home simultaneously."
Friends and neighbors were still in shock earlier this week.
Stephanie Million, who lives in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, told media “this is the first time anything’s happened in the 16 years we’ve lived here. I’ve never even heard of a house broken into.”
A family friend, Adam Venegas, started a GoFundMe campaign page to help Garcia’s family pay for medical costs and funeral expenses.
"Yesterday Michael Garcia's life was taken far too soon," Venegas wrote when starting the campaign Sunday. "His daughter Hailey is currently fighting for her life at this time."
Garcia was an insurance claims adjuster and Reyes is an alumni of Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio studying to become a licensed specialist in school psychology. In addition to Reyes, Garcia is survived by his youngest daughter Addison and wife Lisa.
Garcia and Addison had become well known competitors involved in Ohana wrestling and Marra Senki Jiu Jitsu in San Antonio, according to Venegas.
While the investigation was continuing earlier this week, police said that with both shooter and Garcia, the chances of learning the motive for the shooting are slim.
"We're working on gathering the motive and the reasons why everything occurred now," Whitley said on Sunday. "But all we know from the family members is they've been estranged for approximately 10 years. And they have not been in communication with him and unaware of anything he's been doing or he's been up to."
As of Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe campaign established by Venegas had collected more than $13,000 of its $25,000 goal.
Anyone with more information is asked to call Detective Kristy Whitley at 512-260-4816. Anonymous tips can be submitted online at www.cedarparktexas.gov/tip411 using case number 1805-0209.