A Texas man who learned he had been scammed out of $40 by a fake parking attendant left his date inside a Houston restaurant, retrieved a gun from his car and allegedly fatally shot the man before returning for dinner, according to court records.
Erick Aguirre faces murder charges in the April 11 death of 46-year-old Elliot Nix. Aguirre appeared in court on Thursday, and a judge set his bond at $200,000. His attorney, Brent Mayr, declined to comment.
Aguirre, 29, allegedly told his date that “everything was fine” and that he just scared the man after returning to the Rodeo Goat restaurant from the parking lot in the East Downtown neighborhood, known as EaDo. They then started walking to a table but left to eat someplace else after Aguirre looked uncomfortable, according to court records.
Aguirre’s date contacted police two days later after police had released photos of the couple, who had been identified by tips to Crime Stoppers.
This undated mugshot provided by the Houston Police Department shows Erick Aguirre, who was charged with murder in the April 11, 2023, death of 46-year-old Elliot Nix. Authorities allege that the Texas man paused his dinner date to fatally shoot Nix, who had allegedly posed as a parking attendant and scammed him out of $40. (Houston Police Department via AP)
“She wanted to do the right thing. She wanted to make sure that she came forward and told the police what she knew,” the woman’s attorney, Rick DeToto, told local news station KPRC.
Investigators said that on April 11, Aguirre and his date met for dinner in downtown Houston. After they parked their cars near the restaurant, Nix approached the couple claiming to be a parking attendant. He said it would cost $20 to park each vehicle, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Houston Police released surveillance photographs identifying Aguirre and his date as persons of interest in Nix’s killing. (Houston Police Department)
Houston Police released surveillance photographs showing Erick Aguirre, left, who faces murder charges in the April 11 death of 46-year-old Elliot Nix, suspected of being a parking lot scammer. (Houston Police Department)
Aguirre paid the $40. But a waiter at the restaurant later informed the couple that Nix was scamming people for parking, police said.
A witness later told police he saw Aguirre return to his car, grab a pistol and chase after Nix. The witness said both men went out of his view, but he heard a gunshot ring out before 8 p.m. He claims he saw Aguirre “nonchalantly walking back to his car with the gun in his hand” before storing it
in the vehicle and returning to his date at the restaurant, according to the affidavit.
Houston Police responded to a shooting call at 1300 Chartres Street at about 7:55 p.m. on April 11. Elliot Nix, 46, was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound. He was transported to a hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.
Aguirre then told his date he was uncomfortable with the restaurant and the couple left, according to the woman’s attorney.
“She knows that he was upset, and he went after the person that allegedly scammed them, but they went to have dinner, and at some point, the defendant said he was uncomfortable with the restaurant and they left,” DeToto told KPRC.
Houston Police officers responded to a call about the shooting and found Nix unresponsive with a gunshot wound. Paramedics transported him to a local hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead, police said.
The woman didn’t realize what had happened until the next day, when police released surveillance images identifying the couple as persons of interest in their investigation. She cooperated with police and was not charged.
Aguirre, a resident of Corpus Christi, which is located about 200 miles southwest of Houston, was arrested earlier this week. He was still in jail as of Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.