Man fatally shot in Fort Worth was trying to protect his 3-year-old stepson

Posted Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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FORT WORTH -- A 21-year-old man killed during a robbery Monday night was shot while trying to protect his 3-year-old stepson, police said Wednesday.

Islander Tavira, his wife, and two stepchildren, a 10-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy, had just returned home from the store and exited their car in the parking lot of the Southgate Manor apartments, 1200 E. Seminary Dr., when the robbery and shooting occurred about 9:30 p.m. Monday.

Homicide Sgt. Cheryl Johnson said several people had been standing in a breezeway when one of the men, wearing a ski mask and armed with a handgun, approached the family and demanded money.

Frightened, the 3-year-old boy began to run toward the family's apartment.

When the robber began running in the same direction, Tavira gave chase, apparently fearful that the gunman was going after the boy.

"The victim immediately followed to protect the child from harm when the suspect shot the victim multiple times," the department stated in a press release.

The suspect then fled on foot.

Tavira was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later. He died from a gunshot wound to the chest, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office ruled.

Police were still trying to identify the gunman Wednesday. Investigators are also trying to identify the individuals who had been standing in the breezeway with the suspect shortly before the robbery and fatal shooting, Johnson said.

"At this time of year, when we're all thinking about family, this victim paid the ultimate sacrifice trying to protect his," Johnson said. "We are asking the community to assist us in solving this case so we can bring comfort to this grieving family."

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact homicide Det. J.T. Rhoden at 817-392-4336. Tips can be made anonymously by calling CrimeStoppers at 817-469-TIPS. CrimeStoppers offers reward money for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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1200 E. Seminary Dr., Fort Worth, TX
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