HOUSTON – Police released a photo of a man wanted for questioning in the fatal shooting of a young Houston father.
The guy in the photograph has a familiar face to the area’s neighbors. He wears a black cap and a white beard and drives a beat up blue pick-up truck. Right away, some of the people who live in the Shadow Tree Apartments recognized him.
“That’s him,” said Sandra Reyes, who says she regularly spotted him. “I used to see him collecting aluminum cans, I guess to trade in, every morning on my way to work.”
But police said the mystery can collector hasn’t been seen around the apartment complex for more than a month, not since a teenager was shot to death during a fight the night of July 28.
Now investigators have released the unidentified man’s photograph and called him a “possible shooter” in the altercation that killed David Sanchez, 19. Neighbors said Sanchez had recently moved to the complex to live close to his girlfriend and their child.
Still, some people who saw the potential suspect in the killing say they can’t imagine the neighborhood can collector shooting someone.
“We’d usually just see him passing by, you know,” said Christian Perez, another resident of the complex. “He doesn’t look like that type of man. He seemed more casual. I never thought he’d do something like that.”
Investigators said they’ve conducted “extensive witness interviews” since the killing and developed a general description of a Hispanic man, possibly in his 60s, with gray or white hair and a large white beard. He has driven a blue 1988 Chevrolet truck with Texas license plate number BH03331.
Police have also found two possible names for the man: Panfilo Calva and Alejandro Bardales.
Some residents of the complex who’ve heard the man shown in the photo acted in self-defense have sympathized with the can collector.
“The week before that incident happened,” Reyes said, “I was going to stop by and tell him, ‘You know what, I don’t collect the cans. I throw them away. I don’t recycle them. I throw them away, so if you want to stop by my house, I mean, I can give you a sack of cans. I just saw him struggling all time.”
Investigators ask anyone with information on the possible suspect to contact Sgt. Versluis or Investigator Rexroad in the Houston Police Homicide Division at 713-308-3643.
Crime Stoppers will also accept information on the case at 713-222-TIPS, offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the filing of felony charges in the case.