KAUFMAN (CBSNewsTexas.com) – The family of 35-year-old Aaron Martinez, who was shot and killed three days ago, say they want to see the man charged with his murder also charged with a hate crime.
As 30-year-old Trevor McEuen sits in the Kaufman County Detention Center, where he is being held on a $2 million bond, a protest and vigil was held outside Thursday night.
Martinez's family and friends are coming together for one reason – they believe his death could have been prevented.
"We need justice for my husband, their father, their son," said Priscilla Martinez, Aaron's wife. "When he was here, he spoke out and no one did anything to protect him."
They say when Martinez moved to Forney two and a half years ago to open a horse training ranch with his family, right away, his neighbor – McEuen – told him Hispanics aren't welcome.
"He started to follow us...[saying] 'We don't want you Spanish people in the area,'" said Salvador Martinez, Aaron's father.
They say over time, the incidents started to escalate and they filed complaints.
"When we were working on the ranch, he always was driving the truck with a big gun in the window...pointing to us," Salvador Martinez said.
Martinez's sister says Monday, their lives changed forever.
"Never would I have thought that we would be experiencing this," said Elisandra Martinez, Aaron's sister. "In a way, I just didn't believe there was so much evil. I could not."
Police were called to the 9800 block of Neal Road where they found Martinez in a truck with fatal gunshot wounds.
They say they witnessed McEuen driving away from the scene. After a short standoff, they took him into custody. Arrest documents show he later admitted to the crime.
"He just cold heartedly murdered my brother from the back when he was just going home for lunch," Elisandra Martinez said. "He did not deserve this. He wasn't looking for any trouble. He was just going home."
Protestors are calling for McEuen to also be charged with a hate crime.
CBS News Texas asked the sheriff's office about the possibility of hate crime charge and all they could tell us is that they're investigating.
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