SAN ANTONIO – A west side family wants answers after their loved was shot and killed Friday afternoon in what police say was a gun battle.
Rudy Perez, 54, was killed after he and a passenger, along with his 3-year-old grandnephew riding in the backseat of the van he was driving, had an argument with a homeowner sitting on the porch of his home in the area of South San Ignacio Avenue and San Fernando Street.
Perez was killed and the passenger was injured, but the boy was uninjured.
Carlos Medina, Perez’s son, said he woke up to the horrible news.
“I turned the news on and I saw the van with the bullet holes and the broken glass and everything,” said Medina. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Now memorials sit in front of Perez’s home and at the place the shooting happened.
His niece, Ruby Romero, said like the rest of her family, she is devastated.
“This is what was taken from us,” said Romero. “This hole that is now in our hearts and cannot be replaced. My uncle was a great man and I am not just saying that because I am his niece. From the bottom of my heart, he was a wonderful man.”
“He was a good man,” said Medina. “He had his problems earlier in life but he has always been a great man. He would literally give you the shirt off his back.”
The family said the young boy in the backseat during the shooting has been impacted by the loss of his granduncle.
“He saw everything. Even though he is little he saw everything,” said Freddy Perez, Rudy’s brother. “He is in shock but he is doing good.”
“What if it was him too? I would be dealing with two instead of one,” said Jessica Arenes, Rudy’s sister. “This should have never happened.”
Medina said though police say there was an exchange of gunfire, they believe otherwise.
“The gentleman that got shot lives down the street,” said Medina. “I talked to him yesterday and he was telling me my dad never fired a weapon and as soon as they turned the corner the guy opened fire on them so I don't see how it was self-defense.”
“My brother didn’t even have time to defend himself,” said Arenes. “By the time he could even think to grab his weapon, he was already dead.”
Now the family wants justice for their loved one.
“This was not fair,” said Romero. “Nobody should ever lose their life like this. Over some small words. We want answers because I know my uncle. People are painting him like some sort of monster when he would do anything for anyone. I think people need to be more educated about guns and how not to use them out of anger.”
Medina said this is not the first time his father had a disagreement with his shooter.
“My dad filed a police report before on him,” said Medina. “They got in a fight at the HEB and he called the police on him so they have had words before. I just don’t know what happened that night but the truth will come out eventually.”
“We could do a lot of talking telling people not to use guns but it is up to them whether they want to listen or not,” said Perez’s brother Freddy. “Like they say ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people.’”
Police said the man was taken in for questioning but it is unknown if any charges will be filed.
The investigation is still ongoing but the family is urging everyone who may know any information to contact police immediately.