Man resumes dinner date after fatally shooting fake parking attendant, police say

HOUSTON — A Texas man on a dinner date earlier this month is accused of shooting a person he said duped him out of $40 by posing as a parking attendant, then resumed his evening out, authorities said.

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Erick L. Aguirre, 29, was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Elliot Nix, 46, on April 11, the Houston Chronicle reported. He was arrested on Tuesday in Aransas County and extradited to Harris County, according to a news release from the city of Houston.

He was arraigned on Thursday and bail was set at $200,000, The New York Times reported, citing court records.

Aguirre’s attorney, Brent Mayr, declined to comment, according to The Associated Press.

According to new court filings in Harris County, Aguirre allegedly shot Nix after the victim said he owed $40 for two parked cars in a lot by the Rodeo Goat restaurant, the Chronicle reported. Aguirre had just arrived for a date and believed that Nix was a parking attendant, according to the newspaper.

In charging documents, Aguirre was going out to eat with the woman, who said in a voluntary statement that the couple was dating, the Times reported. They drove separately to the Rodeo Goat, a hamburger restaurant east of downtown Houston, according to the newspaper.

After they parked, a man, later identified as Nix, approached them and said that parking would be $20 for each vehicle but their money would be returned if they presented a receipt from their meal, the Times reported, citing the charging documents.

When a restaurant employee told Aguirre that he had been scammed, the suspect told his date he was going to look for the bogus parking attendant and would be back shortly, The Washington Post reported.

“There was a waiter who knew that the guy was scamming people for parking, and he advised them, ‘Hey, that guy is scamming you for parking,’” an attorney for Aguirre’s date, Rick DeToto, told KPRC-TV.

According to the city’s news release, Nix and Aguirre were involved in an argument “that escalated into a shooting.”

Authorities said that Aguirre had gone to his car, grabbed a pistol and fatally shot Nix, the Post reported. According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by the newspaper, Aguirre returned to his seat in the restaurant and told his date that “everything was fine” and that he had scared the scammer.

Nix was taken to an area hospital, where he later died, the AP reported.

The couple left to eat somewhere else after Aguirre “looked uncomfortable,” according to the news organization.

The woman contacted authorities two days later after police had released photos of the couple.

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

No charges have been filed against the woman, the Times reported.

“My client was shocked to see a photo of herself on the news and to hear that she was a person of interest,” DeToto said in a statement. “She was devastated to learn of the death of the complainant. She was simply having dinner with the defendant and was unaware of the shooting.”

Aguirre, who lives in the Corpus Christi area and worked as a crane operator, was arrested in Aransas County and returned to Harris County, the Post reported.

Aguirre was previously charged in 2017 for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in San Patricio County, Texas, the newspaper reported, citing court records. He was sentenced in September to 10 years of probation, according to the San Patricio County District Clerk’s Office.

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