Danny Cazares was named as the suspect accused of shooting a married couple at the Houston aquarium restaurant in what authorities believe was a random attack.
The victims were identified as Gabriel Alexander Moriones Vargas, 28, who was killed, and his 24 year old wife, who remains in stable condition at an area hospital, Houston police said. The shootings occurred at 410 Bagby Street. The victims posted a happy video showing them in the restaurant bar right before the shooting that captured Cazares sitting at the other end of it.
Police identified the suspect as Danny Garcia Cazares, 39. They said he was “prounounced deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
“This was a tragic, isolated incident with no relationship between the victims and the suspect,” they wrote in a statement posted to the department’s Twitter page.
Here’s what we need to know:
1. The Suspect Was Sitting at the Opposite End of the Bar
In a news conference, HPD Executive Assistant Chief Matt Slinkard said that the couple were simply having dinner together in the restaurant’s bar while visiting Houston.
Cazares, 39, of Houston, was sitting at the opposite end of the restaurant’s bar and simply walked over and shot the couple before shooting himself, according to Slinkard.
Click2Houston reported that the shooting was random, and the motive is unknown.
2. The Victims Shared Photos & Videos That Showed Cazares Sitting at the Bar
Couple shot at Downtown Aquarium posted video on social media showing killer sitting few feet aw…2 men were killed, including the suspect, and a woman was injured2021-07-10T02:50:22Z
According to Click2Houston, the victims shared photos and video to their social media page that captured Cazares sitting at the end of the bar.
You can see images from them here.
Vargas also had a TikTok page.
The video shared by the station shows the victims clinking wine glasses together at the end of the bar. Cazares can be seen in the background. Vargas’s Instagram page is privatized. On Twitter, he shared Instagram photos at the Statue of Liberty in New York. He went by the name Gabo Moriones on social media.
3. Cazares Was Out on Bail for a Gun Charge
According to Houston court records, the suspect was out on bond for an active felony criminal case for felon in possession of a weapon. His address was given as Houston. Bond was set at $15,000.
His criminal history was lengthy; it included charges for criminal trespassing, marijuana possession, drunk driving, unauthorized use of a vehicle, failure to identify a fugitive, and theft.
Police wrote that Cazares “has a previous criminal history, which includes prior arrests for felon in possession of a weapon.”
4. Cazares Once Underwent a Mental Health Evaluation
The latest on the shooting at the Downtown Aquarium:
•The victim is 28-year-old Gabriel Moriones Vargas. •His wife was also shot- she is still in the hospital per HPD.•The suspect, 39-year-old Danny Cazares, was out on bond. @abc13houston pic.twitter.com/6gERaLGYXb
— Courtney Carpenter (@courtcarpenter_) July 9, 2021
Police said Cazares had a “history of mental illness.”
According to Click2Houston, the suspect once underwent a mental health evaluation after being found “wandering around the Cy-Fair Fire Departments’ bunkhouse.”
The gun charge resulted from his niece calling police to report he was “seated at the bar with a loaded pistol in his pocket,” at a different Houston restaurant. He was also accused of “trashing a hotel room,” the television station reported.
His family told Eyewitness News that Cazares was “a sweet man” who had schizophrenia and had required hospitalization for it.
5. Vargas, Who Was From Colombia, Was a Promising Swimmer With Big Dreams
According to the Spanish-language site Somos Fan, Vargas was a Colombian citizen.
“It was said that this 28-year-old was a native of La Plata, Huila, and he arrived with his 24-year-old partner to enjoy Houston in Texas,” the site reported.
The site Occidente 30 Dias posted a lengthy tribute to Vargas.
I met Gabriel and his sisters, Yaninela and Paula at the end of 2006; every day at four pm they attended the Olympic Villa Misael Quimbaya Ramirez from the Villa de San Sebastian de La Plata, where they trained classical swimming and with fins, under the direction of Professor Alfonso Creole.
Moses and his wife Yineth (†), and knowledgeable of this sporting discipline, saw qualities and potential in the three children, who at that time already represented with honor their municipality La Plata, taking first places and winning medals; but unfortunately and as usually happens in our country, without economic support from government entities. Summary, her parents took on all costs, accessories, commuting, accommodation, feeding, registration, and spending demanded training and competitive activities.
In December 2006, in the print edition of Occidente 30 días, we published a note in which we released the process, which was voluntarily made by Professor Creole, and also called on local and departmental authorities , in search of support for silver talent.
Years later, the young Morions Vargas decided to seek new life expectations and with the support of their parents travelled to the city of Medellín, where they remained linked to sport and developed their academic projects.
Educational commitments and work obligations truncated the dreams of three young swimming promises, who one day had to choose between sport or a work project, sadly understood decision, in a country where social conditions and needs are stronger than the passions.
On Sunday September 15, 2019 I received a message via WhatsApp, it was Gabriel, he wrote to greet me, he told me that he lived in America and that he still practiced swimming, he did five days a week. I remember that night we talked about half an hour and after saying goodbye we stayed to communicate again.
We kept in constant contact for the next few months. Every time he called me he heard a voice that radiated joy, optimism, faith in his projects and an unshakable desire to improve the quality of personal life and those around him. I believed in what I did.
– Hello how are you Juan?- It was the last message I received from Gabo on Tuesday, April 20 this year, that I responded with the affection of always, and that day by mutual occupations, did not extend beyond the salute.
On the morning of Friday July 9, in one of the daily routine tasks, checking the e-mail e-mail, did not credit the text it read, CNN registered in its headlines the cold-blooded murder of a Colombian young man in events in the city of Houston, Texas, at the hands of a madman, a monster, who blinded the life, dreams and projects of a great human being… Gabriel Alexander Morions Vargas.
To Moses, Yaninela and Paula, I want to tell you that the loss of your son and brother, is a pain I feel as my own. God strengthen your lives and hearts.