Five years after being shot, Fort Worth man dies

Posted Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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FORT WORTH -- A 36-year-old shooting victim who died last month of complications of quadriplegia was the victim of a homicide, the Tarrant County medical examiner ruled Tuesday.

Abelardo Avila died Dec. 8, almost five years to the day after he was shot in the head in a north Fort Worth alley. A friend, 22-year-old Joe Vasquez, was also killed.

Avila's death was caused by complications of quadriplegia due to the gunshot wound, the Tarrant County medical examiner's officer ruled.

Two brothers were arrested in the Dec. 9, 2007, shootings of Avila and Vasquez but a grand jury declined to indict them. Attorneys suggested there were self-defense issues in the case.

Authorities have said that one of the brothers' cars had been burglarized and that he suspected Avila and Vasquez -- occupants of a pickup -- were preparing to steal something. A confrontation led to the brothers getting into their own vehicle and chasing the pickup. During that chase, gunshots were fired, but no one was hit and it was unclear who fired at whom, police have said.

Police have said that at some point during the chase, Vasquez and Avila begin pursuing the brothers, who returned to their house. Vasquez and Avila were later shot when they showed up in the alley behind the brothers' house and gunshots were exchanged.

"Since the case was previously presented to the grand jury and no-billed, we will make contact with the district attorney's office in the next few days to discuss whether further action is necessary," Sgt. Cheryl Johnson said.

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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