KCBD Investigates Discounting Danger: Lubbock father shot and killed in front of wife and sister
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Christian Rios wanted the American Dream.
“He was an immigrant who only wanted to better himself,” said Christian’s wife, Perla Rios.
Perla and Christian’s sisters, Cristy and Gaby Rios said Christian moved from Mexico to Lubbock to give his daughters a better life.
“He was a dad; he was a super dad. The best things in his life for him were always his daughters,” Gaby said.
But a shooting at Christian’s work stole more from his family than that dream.
“He came to this country fleeing violence in Mexico and violence ended up killing him here,” Perla said.
Perla and Cristy said they were in the Rich Land Entertainment game room, where Christian worked when the shooting happened. Perla said she and Christian were about to leave the game room when someone knocked on the door. Perla said the man at the door asked for Abraham, a man she believed to be one of the game room owners.
“We actually don’t even know their real names because they are always switching their names. There were three owners in total, two of them were there,” Perla said.
Perla said Christian turned his back to the man to point where Abraham may be. Perla said in that moment, she watched as the man pulled out a gun and shot her husband.
“The guy waited for Christian to turn towards the back to attack him. At that moment, he pulled out the gun and I saw how the bullet hit him. Christian was smart, and if he had seen him, he would have been able to defend himself,” Perla said.
Cristy said she saw the shooting from across the room.
“Christian all of a sudden fell to the ground. I just saw the person who did it and I thought he was going to shoot me too because I looked at him straight on,” Christy said.
Perla and Cristy said the shooter then opened fire. Cristy said one of the bullets hit the man who was sitting next to her. Cristy said she and Perla both ran to the bathroom to seek shelter.
“I wanted to run towards Christian, but I was afraid,” Cristy said.
When the shooting finally stopped, Cristy and Perla said they ran to Christian who was still on the ground. Cristy said she tried to get people to help carry Christian to a truck so they could take him to the hospital.
“There were a lot of people who could have helped but no one did. Maybe if people had helped us carry him, I wonder if we could have been faster,” Cristy said.
Cristy said one of the game room owners did help, but another owner who was armed with a gun, ran. Cristy said she was shocked they were able to carry Christian to the truck with so little help. Perla said she drove Christian straight to the hospital.
“Those 10 minutes on the way there were the longest of my life. I was feeling very desperate that I couldn’t get there fast enough, and I was losing the love of my life,” Perla said.
Christian did not survive. Perla said she had seen the shooter once before when the owner brought him to the game room, but she and Christian did not know him.
“That is why I find it really difficult to have compassion towards that person,” Perla said.
Perla said that even if the shooter was sentenced to 100 years it would not be enough.
“This is supposed to be a safe country, but it wasn’t like that. Christian wasn’t doing anything bad; he was working, so I ask for justice,” Perla said.
Christian’s family said they pray his daughters, both American citizens, will have the life their father died trying to give them. The KCBD Investigates Team met with Florencio Rivera, the other man shot in the game room. Rivera said he was shot in the neck and is now a quadriplegic.
Rivera said he did not know the shooter either. Rivera’s family is raising money for equipment and changes that must be made to their home to accommodate Rivera’s electric wheelchair.
To learn more, including how you can help, click here.
Law enforcement arrested Jamie Lee Pruett, 50, for the shooting rampage that killed Christian and injured three others. Pruett remains in the Lubbock County Detention Center on a $20 million bond.
Over the last several months, the KCBD Investigates Team has spoken with people who filed police reports against Pruett in the days and months leading up to the deadly shooting.
KCBD also confirmed one man obtained a temporary protective order against Pruett.
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