Adelaido Bernabe Urias was a 70-year-old paletero from Guerrero, Mexico who was working his usual shift on June 23 in north Austin when he was killed. While pushing his cart though an apartment complex, he was shot during a robbery and later taken to the hospital where he died of his wounds on July 1. On August 4th, Austin Police Department announced they arrested 18-year-old Marquis Davis, 20-year-old Jermaine Jones, and 19-year-old Devlon Wardy on capital murder charges. They are being held in the Travis County Correctional Complex, and their bond is set at $1 million each.
Bernabe Urias was beloved by his community and referred to as “grandpa” by the neighborhood kids and local officers also bought ice cream from him, CBS Austin reports. Like many immigrants, he was sending the money he made to his family in Mexico and saving up to build a home there. His family launched a GoFundMe after his death to help with funeral expenses and organizations came together to offer a $24,000 reward for information about the murder.
“Being of Hispanic, Mexican culture, our ice cream men are the pillars of our community. You hear them, and you smile. It tore my heart,” Officer Bino Cadenas said, CBS Austin reports. “When it’s 100 degrees out, they’re working hard, pushing an ice cream cart on pavement. It’s something we – as children – look forward to at the end of the day. Once we buy that ice cream, we can’t wait until the next day. It just breaks our heart, knowing a man who was out here working to provide a good and service, especially to our children, was gunned down, robbed, and then murdered. It’s devastating.”
Police are still searching for a fourth person who they say was driving the car that day who has yet to be identified. Witnesses told police one of the suspects tried to rob the victim in the middle of the day and subsequently shot him, when police arrived they found Bernabe Urias lying in the parking lot. Homicide Detective Nathan Sexton said he was probably targeted because street vendors are known to carry cash.
“The family is very hurt about what happened to my uncle and we’re always going to remember him as a good person,” Bernabe Urias’ nephew, Leonel Bello said during a news conference. “He never hurt anyone.”
There was no surveillance camera video footage of the incident so detectives relied on witness accounts. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this incident to call APD Homicide at 512-974-TIPS.