Thousands of dollars and well-wishes have been pouring in from across the country for the family of a father of four who was shot dead on Black Friday as he tried to stop a 21-year-old man from battering a woman in the parking lot of a Walmart in San Antonio, Texas.
Police told local news station KSAT 12 that the good Samaritan father, 39-year-old Isidro Zarate, was trying to stop 21-year-old Teles Juarez from assaulting the woman when Juarez pulled a gun and fired multiple shots at him.
According to The Washington Post, at about 4 p.m. as he waited inside his car in the parking lot for his wife of 22 years, Lisa Benavides, Zarate noticed Juarez and a woman arguing. Juarez reportedly grabbed the woman by her hair and started beating her.
Police say Zarate pulled his car up to the couple and shouted at Juarez, "Take your hands off her." At that point Juarez reached for his gun.
"All [Zarate] did was verbally say, 'Take your hands off her,' " San Antonio Police Chief William McManus told reporters. "At that point, the assailant pulled a firearm and started shooting."
He died in the parking lot after a gunshot hit him in the neck. A woman riding in the car with him was hit by shrapnel or flying glass and a stray bullet also flew through the Walmart parking lot, wounding a third woman.
Juarez was later arrested after he fled the scene.
After hearing of Zarate's story through a Go Fund Me campaign created Friday by his niece, Melanie Marie, well-wishers donated more than $40,000 to help with burial expenses as the family struggled to cope with their loss.
"He raised my oldest son since he was 8 months old," his wife, Benavides, told the Post. "He raised him like his own, even though [the child's] father wasn't in the picture."
Benavides and her husband's four sons are 17, 19, 20 and 23.
She said her husband was the jokester in their family and he always encouraged them to be kind.
"He's always been like that," Benavides told the Post. "Even though people treat you mean, he said you've always got to be nice. And he always said you've got to help people in the long run. It's going to all come back to you."
"I don't know what I'm going to do without him because we were together 24/7," she added, crying. "We've always been together. I can't believe he's gone."
Elena De Jesus, one of the donors to the Go Fund Me campaign, posted a message to Benavides, saying: "The world has lost an amazing human being and an example of a man. That woman in the parking lot is one out of every three women who suffer abuse at some point in their lives. It is inspiring to know that there are also men out there that will defend, rather than hurt. I am sure your sons grew up following their father's example. God bless them."
Visitation for Zarate will be held from 3–9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at Castillo Funeral Home. His funeral is set for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at the St. Jude Catholic Church. The family has opened it to the public.