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Brother of man shot, killed on East Side said victim loved by many

SAN ANTONIO – The search for a killer continues as a family mourns its loved one who was shot and killed Saturday on the city’s East Side.

Alfonso Varela and other family members looked on as the body of his younger brother, Ernest, was pulled from a home on Piedmont Avenue.

Alfonso Varela said his 60-year-old brother lived in the home for about 12 years.

“I told my family. They weren't really surprised. We told him to move out or we'd help him and everything, but he wouldn't do it. So it's kind of hard, you know?” Alfonso Varela said.

The brothers are a part of a 10-sibling family who grew up on the West Side.

Ernest Varela was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. His brother said he was loved by many and was known as the neighborhood mechanic.

“He was real nice to the kids here. They called him Uncle Ernie. He was friendly, very friendly, but things happen, you know? I don't know,” Alfonso Varela said.

A neighborhood said he heard gunshots near the home about 4 a.m. Saturday.

Alfonso Varela said his brother had previously been threatened. He also said the home had been previously vandalized.

The family plans to bury the victim at Fort Sam Houston next to their mother and father.

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