Authorities have released surveillance footage of a possible car of interest after a Texas father was shot to death while trying to protect his family from burglars breaking into the family’s home.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office has designated the car—which is described as a light-colored, four-door sedan with a sunroof—as a “vehicle of interest” in the homicide, according to a statement from authorities.
“Help us catch those responsible for this heinous crime,” Sheriff Troy Nehls said. “A wife and two small children now have to try and piece their life together without their loving husband and father.”
Brenton Estorffe, a native of Australia, was shot to death early Wednesday after he heard a window break in the back of the family’s home. He went to check into the noise and was shot by two intruders, the sheriff’s office said.
As Estorffe, 29, lay dying in the family’s Katy home, his wife placed an anguished 911 call to authorities for help.
“I think he’s really hurt,” Angeleanna Estorffe said in the call released by Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office as her husband can be heard gurgling for breath, according to the Australian Associated Press. “Baby, are you OK?”
Angeleanna Estorffe continued to ask her husband if he is okay as she also expressed concern for her children, ages 1 and 3.
“I’m sorry I have two kids in the house, I don’t know what to do,” she said. “How long before the cops are here?”
A neighbor reportedly tried to resuscitate Brenton, but he later succumbed to his injuries, according to 9News.
His father Mike Estorffe told the Australian station that his son died trying to protect his family.
“He was the one that fought off the intruders, he fought two of them away to protect his wife and kids and unfortunately he passed away doing it,” he said.
He described his son “smart,” “honest,” and “sincere.”
The sentiment was echoed by Nehls, who commended the father of two for his heroic efforts.
“He gave his life in defense of his family. What more honor can you bestow upon an individual than that,” he said, according to ABC News.
Authorities aren’t sure whether the home was targeted or whether it was a random burglary gone wrong.
The perpetrators likely knew a family lived in the home because it had been decorated on the outside for Halloween, authorities said.
"You almost got to make the safe assumption, these individuals knew somebody would be at home. But yet they still had the audacity to break a window and enter the home. That's a little unusual," Nehls said.
One of the suspects has been described as 5’11” with a medium build and dark complexion. He was wearing a dark-colored hoodie and had a hood on his head. The second man was described as 6 feet tall with a slender build, dark complexion and short hair, the sheriff’s office said. Authorities have said it's possible a third man could have been involved serving as the getaway driver, but it's unclear.
A $25,000 reward is being offered for information in the case.
"We will investigate until we can bring these individuals to justice," Nehls said.
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