Erick Aguirre: Police say man continued date after fatal shooting over $40

Written by: Amos Osrah
Erick Aguirre

According to court papers, a Texas man on a date who paid $40 for parking only to discover inside a Houston burger establishment that he had been duped fatally shot the man serving as an attendant and then returned for dinner.

Erick Aguirre appeared in court Thursday on murder charges in the April 11 death of Elliot Nix, 46. His bond was set at $200,000. Brent Mayr, his lawyer, declined to comment.

Erick Aguirre: Police say man continued date after fatal shooting over $40
Erick Aguirre

After returning to the Rodeo Goat restaurant from the parking lot, Aguirre, 29, allegedly told his companion that “everything was fine” and that he had only scared the man. According to court records, they then began walking to a seat but departed to eat somewhere else after Aguirre appeared uncomfortable.

Aguirre’s date contacted police two days later after police had released photos of the couple, who had been identified by tips to Crime Stoppers.

“She wanted to do the right thing. She wanted to make sure that she came forward and told the police what she knew,” Rick DeToto, the woman’s attorney told KPRC.

Police say Aguirre, 29, and his date had parked their vehicles near the downtown restaurant when Nix approached them, saying it would cost $20 each to park their cars, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Aguirre paid the $40 but was later told by a restaurant employee that Nix didn’t work for the parking lot and had scammed them, police said.

An employee at a nearby smoking store later told police that he observed Aguirre return to his car, get a weapon, and pursue Nix.

The employee stated that both men left his sight before 8 p.m., but he heard a gunshot and observed Aguirre “nonchalantly walking back to his car with the gun in his hand” before putting the rifle back in his car. According to the affidavit, Aguirre then returned to the restaurant and went inside with his date.

Nix was rushed to the hospital and later died.

Aguirre was caught earlier this week near Corpus Christi, which is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of Houston. He was still imprisoned on Thursday.

According to Houston criminal defense attorney Grant Scheiner, who is not involved in the case, Aguirre’s counsel will likely be able to make an argument that the use of lethal force was authorized under state laws pertaining to property protection.

However, the circumstances surrounding this case, such as retrieving a weapon when there was no immediate danger and then continuing with one’s dinner after the alleged shooting, will not help Aguirre, according to Scheiner.

Texas lawmakers enacted legislation in 2021 enabling people to carry handguns without a license, as well as the background check and training that came with it.

“The problem is that guns are just so widely available and there’s a lot of misinterpretation on when you can use deadly force,” Scheiner said. “You have a lot of guns and not very much knowledge.”

Nix’s tragic shooting follows a string of high-profile events in the United States in which nonviolent scenarios — such as going to the wrong house, getting into the wrong automobile, or stepping into a neighbor’s yard to grab a basketball — degenerated into gunshots.

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