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Texas man faces murder charge; authorities blame road rage

MAGNOLIA, Texas (AP) — Relatives of a Texas man who are distraught over what authorities are calling his road rage killing say a minor traffic accident should not have led to the fatal shooting.

Christopher Delacruz, 21, is charged with murder in the Saturday night killing of 56-year-old Jose Augusto Lozada, who was shot outside his home in Magnolia, about 40 miles (64.37 kilometers) northwest of Houston. Montgomery County District Attorney Blake Enax told The Associated Press on Monday that no court hearing has been set for Delacruz, and he does not know if Delacruz has an attorney.

“All they had to do was turn around and get … out of the neighborhood,” Lisa Rocha, whose daughter Heather Lozada is married to Lozada’s son, told The Courier of Montgomery County. “He didn’t have to shoot (Jose Lozada).”

Authorities said Jose Lozada was shot in the head and torso when Delacruz, also from Magnolia, followed him home after a minor collision. They said Delacruz pulled a semi-automatic pistol from his vehicle when an argument started and he began to shoot.

Family members of Lozada witnessed the confrontation. Lozada’s son and daughter-in-law were in a neighboring yard when Lozada pulled into his driveway. Daughter-in-law Heather Lozada told The Courier that Lozada quickly got out of his vehicle while Delacruz, who had also pulled up, stopped his truck in the street and began yelling that Lozada had hit his vehicle.

She said Lozada responded that Delacruz had broken his window.

She told the newspaper that she spotted a gun in Delacruz’s hand and that he shot Lozada, striking him in the torso. She said he fired two more times at Lozada.

Sheriff’s deputies said Delacruz’s wife and a child were in his truck at the time. He was found near the scene and detained without incident by officers responding to a call about the shooting.

“It should not have escalated to that point,” sheriff’s Capt. Bryan Carlisle told The Courier. “It’s a tragedy that can’t be taken back. It’s very tragic and completely unnecessary and very concerning.”

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