DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two people are dead after a shootout in Dallas involving a tow truck driver. The incident erupted just after 4:00 a.m. Friday at the Casa Place Apartments, located in the 3300 block of Chapel Creek Drive, not far from Dallas Love Field Airport.
RAW VIDEO FROM THE TOW TRUCK:
According to police on the scene, tow truck driver Antonio Jones and helper Jose Martinez, from Longhorn Wrecking, arrived at the apartment complex to tow a Chevrolet Impala, after already taking away at least one other vehicle from the complex. The owner of car towed earlier, Israel Esparza, allegedly saw that the tow truck company had returned, approached the employees, and shot Martinez.
The car owner “came out to seek revenge,” according to Dallas Police Department spokesman Kevin Janse. After Martinez was shot, tow truck driver Jones, who was armed, returned fire and shot the car owner. Both Martinez and Esparza were killed.
A worker with Longhorn Wrecking confirmed that the tow truck had several cameras mounted on it and that the entire incident was caught on tape.
Esparza, 36, did not live at the apartment complex, but was visiting his brother when the towing incident led to the shootout. According to family members, Esparza’s brother was a handyman at the apartment complex, which means the towed car would have been returned at no charge.
Esparza leaves behind a wife living in the area and three children in Mexico.
Those who live at the apartment complex said that this situation has been building for a long time. Apartment resident Ashley Collins explained that Longhorn Wrecking is inside the complex every night to remove any vehicles with parking violations or without parking stickers.
Residents have been getting increasingly angry about the towing company’s tactics, but apartment management said that they are unable to help. “They just come and they tow people’s cars, sometimes illegally,” Collins said. “They just tow people’s cars to make the money. I mean, they towed my car three times in a month, and there wasn’t nothing that the manager could do about it.”
The owner of Longhorn Wrecking said that his company does have a contract with the apartment complex. Some of the reasons that a car might be towed include: no resident sticker, expired registration sticker, expired inspection sticker, no visitor pass or parking in an unassigned area.