'A life without him is going to be hard;' store clerk's family devastated

Zack Benevidez killed in convenience store shooting; sister opens up to KSAT

SAN ANTONIO – A community is enraged after an innocent young man is killed in an attempted robbery.

The shooting happened Tuesday at the Diamond Mart on Vance Jackson Road. Police are still looking for the two men responsible.

While police aggressively search, Zack Benavidez's family deals with their painful loss.

Ashley Benavidez took a deep breath as she tried to focus on the heavy reality that her big brother is gone.

"He was a role model to me and my younger brothers," Ashley Benavidez said. "He was my best friend. He was my protector. He would do anything for any of us. He would do anything for anyone."

A San Antonio native, Zack Benavidez went to Robert E. Lee High School, where Ashley Benavidez just graduated Saturday. She said everyone knew her brother as a shy, but caring person.

"He loved animals," she said. "I'm all full of fur because I've been hugging his dog all day. I'm actually wearing his shirt."

Tuesday afternoon, two men tried to rob the Diamond Mart on Vance Jackson, where Zack Benavidez worked as the clerk. They held employees and customers at gunpoint. Police said one of the robbers pistol-whipped Zack in the head, and when Zack tried to fight back, the man fired seven shots at him.

"I saw him at the end right before they stopped breathing for him, and I held his hand," Ashley Benavidez said, softly crying.

The convenience store has a sign on the door saying it is closed until further notice, but still people showed up all day Wednesday leaving candles and flowers all in memory of Zack Benavidez.

He was just 23 years old and had plans for the future.

"He wanted to be a firefighter," Ashley Benavidez said.

Shattered dreams have left behind emptiness and anger. The two men who caused this family's unbearable pain, are still on the run.

"I hope they're found and brought to justice. I just hope they don't hurt any more families like they've hurt ours," Ashley Benavidez said.

The family has started a Go Fund Me page to help pay for his funeral. Click here.

Anyone with information about the two men involved in this crime, is asked to call SAPD at (210) 207-7781 or Crimestoppers at (210) 224-7867.

About the Author:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.