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Friends of slain Balcones Heights police officer shocked by violent death

Julian Pesina gunned down outside his business Sunday

Picture of Ofc. Julian Pesina from Balcones Heights December 2012 newsletter.
Picture of Ofc. Julian Pesina from Balcones Heights December 2012 newsletter.

For nearly a decade Pastor Gumercindo Gonzalez has run the Nueva Vision Church in the same strip mall as the Notorious Ink Tattoo and Piercing Shop.

He said the area is usually quiet, which is why he was shocked to learn that the tattoo shop's co-owner, Julian Pesina, was shot multiple times just a few feet from his door.

"We have eight, nine, years here (and) nothing happened. Nobody breaks in to (steal) something. It's very quiet," Gonzalez said. "This gentleman (was) very awesome with me. We (had) a very special relationship, and I'm very sad."

Pesina, a 29-year-old Balcones Heights police officer, was shot multiple times around 10 p.m. Sunday as he left his shop in the 2800 block of Hillcrest near Shadyview Drive.

"The best description we have so far (is) two masked gunmen were waiting for him," said SAPD Sgt. Joe McKinney.

As Pesina's friends and family mourn his loss, investigators are busy searching for his killers and a motive.

"One of the hardest jobs we have to do is to investigate a crime scene that involves one of our own," said Balcones Heights Police Chief Henry Dominguez. "It's very traumatic."

In the years he knew Pesina, Gonzalez said the two always had a cordial relationship and would pause for a friendly conversation regularly. Despite the violent circumstances surrounding his death, Gonzalez said he won't let the violence keep him or his congregation from visiting the area for worship.

However, he won't let his guard down until the killers are brought to justice.

"I hope this kind of thing never happens again," he said.