-- A Texas woman says her family is still recovering from the shock of learning that the two strangers they let into their home were on the run from authorities who allege that the men had fatally shot an off-duty border patrol officer.
“They just knocked on the door and they asked for some water and to charge their phones, that was it,” the woman, who requested anonymity, told ABC affiliate KRGV-TV in southern Texas of the two men who she said knocked on her door just past midnight early Monday morning.
Little did the Willacy County family know at the time that Gustavo Tijerina, 30, and Ismael Hernandez Vallego, 40, were reportedly fleeing the cops after allegedly slaying off-duty U.S. Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr. while attempting to rob the agent and his family, who were reportedly fishing at the time.
Authorities say they received a report of a shooting around 8 p.m. Sunday, and that the vehicle in which Tijerina and Vallego were traveling broke down along the road, which is when the two murder suspects reportedly walked over 3 miles to the family’s home, according to KRGV.
“They looked harmless, they didn’t look like they had just committed a crime or anything,” the woman told KRGV, also adding that her son had first opened the door.
“They just said they just got into a fight with some family members, and that was basically it,” the woman added. “They weren’t rude, they weren’t mean.”
The woman told KRGV that the men then asked for a place to stay, which is when she said she showed them to her backyard shed.
After reportedly hearing police helicopters in the area and seeing law enforcement patrolling her neighborhood, the woman asked one of the officers whether they were searching for anyone in particular, which is when she said she led the officers to the two men in her shed, according to KRGV.
Tijerina and Hernandez have been charged with capital murder, attempted capital murder, four counts of aggravated robbery and tampering with evidence, according to KRGV.
Both were denied bond, the station reported. It’s unclear whether the men have entered a plea or have lawyers. The Willacy County court referred questions to the Sheriff’s Office, which declined to provide details to ABC News.
A Sheriff’s Office representative told ABC News that the case was under investigation and that no other official information could be released.