Lubbock Night Club to Close After Weekend Murder; Friends and Family Speak Out - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/28/05

Lubbock Night Club to Close After Weekend Murder; Friends and Family Speak Out

A Lubbock night club is shutting its doors for good after an employee was stabbed to death inside the bar this weekend. A fight broke out at Sonidos Night Club just after midnight Sunday morning. Twenty-five year-old Gabriel Hernandez was stabbed while he was trying to get the men to leave. Now, nearly 48 hours later, Ruben Lopez Ayala is in the Lubbock County Jail facing murder charges and Hernandez's family is making funeral arrangements. NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire spoke with his family and the bar owners and brings us more.

Hernandez worked part time just to make extra money for his wife, who's expecting their third child. His father said Hernandez always did whatever it took to take care of his family, and he died doing just that this weekend.

One of the last family pictures of Gabriel Hernandez along with his wife Bridgette Burnall, and two daughters was taken this fall. Another face will soon be added after their son is born is three weeks. However, Sunday morning, their future changed.

"My friend called me," said Bridgette, "and told me I needed to go to the hospital because Gabe got hurt and it was serious. It was hard."

Hernandez was working as a bouncer at Sonidos Night Club. Witnesses said he was stabbed near the back of the bar trying to break up a fight. He died shortly after at University Medical Center.

"I just remember putting everything in God's, hands," said Gabriel's father, Andrew Hernandez, "and by the time I got to the hospital I kind of had this peace that came over me. But when I got there I realized he was no longer with us."

Hernandez worked the second job as needed, during his time there, he and Sonidos owner, Joann Rodriguez became friends. She was inside the bar when she heard he'd been stabbed.

"It's just really hard considering that he wasn't just a bouncer, he was a really good friend. Like a brother," said Rodriguez.

Bridgette now tells her daughters their father is with the angels, and she only has her memories.

"He was a good husband, good father, he loved his kids, he loved having a good time," said Bridgette.

She and Andrew worried every night he went to work at the club, but Andrew wants something good to come of this. He hopes his son's death encourages safer and more professionally controlled bar atmospheres.

Andrew said, "If no one else dies because this raises awareness for things like this then maybe it will help save somebody else."

A fund has been set up to help his three children, Gabriel junior is expected to arrive in three weeks.

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