Lifestyle & Human Interest

Father Gunned Down Outside Restaurant at His Child's Birthday Party


On Friday, Amber Uresti and Calogero Duenes of Humble, Texas, had much to celebrate. It was their daughter’s sixth birthday, and they had planned a party at a local Chuck E. Cheese.

Uresti walked into the restaurant with the birthday girl and their 3-year-old daughter while Duenes went to get the cake.

A short while later, Uresti saw him coming toward them — but something was wrong.

“I saw him,” Uresti told KTRK-TV. “I saw him walking towards us. I told the lady my husband was on his way. I pointed at him, and the instant I turned around, he came running in through the door and he kept saying, ‘I got shot! I got shot!'”

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“He picked up his shirt and ran outside. I ran out after him. My 6-year-old saw him fall on the ground.”

The 24-year-old father was taken to the hospital, but he passed away from his injuries, leaving his young family stunned and heartbroken.

“It’s a tragedy,” Uresti said, according to KMOV-TV. “I really can’t wrap my head around it. Like, I’m hurt. I can’t understand how someone can do that to someone that’s holding a cake.”

“He had no weapons. … He had nothing on him. I don’t understand why.”

Based on video surveillance footage obtained by police, it appears that while Duenes was walking through the parking lot, a driver going the wrong way almost hit him. The two appeared to exchange words moments before three gunshots were heard.

The suspect has not yet been identified and police are continuing their investigation, though they’re calling the incident a “random act of violence,” according to a Facebook post by Steve Campion with KTRK.

“My husband passed without me, without anybody to hold his hand, to comfort him,” Uresti said. “I want justice. I want justice for my children, for Calogero.”

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The family has set up a GoFundMe to help cover funeral costs, and so far people have donated over $40,000 to help out.

“My daughter has been crying,” Uresti said. “She slept last night with her father’s shirt, crying until she fell asleep, and it breaks my heart.

“There’s nothing I can tell her. There’s no words to tell her other than, ‘Daddy is with you in your heart. He loves you.'”

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