AUSTIN (KXAN) — A neighborhood ice cream man who was pushing his cart through a north Austin apartment complex was shot during a robbery last week and died Wednesday, according to Austin Police. Investigators said they’re trying to track down three suspects.
Adelaido Bernabe Urias, 68, was taken to the hospital after being confronted by three men at the Serena Park Apartments at 9210 Northgate Boulevard on June 23, APD said.
Witnesses told police one of the suspects tried to rob the victim in the middle of the day — around 3:10 p.m. — then shot him and left. Officers found the victim lying in the apartment complex’s parking lot.
“It’s very sad. He didn’t deserve how they took his life away like that. He was very gifted,” said one neighbor whose children bought ice cream from Urias regularly.
She said, “My kids would get so excited when they would hear the bells. They would say, buy me one please! And I’d tell them, if I buy you one, I’ll have to buy one for everyone. He was such a happy man.”
Another neighbor told KXAN she heard two gunshots.
“My girls come over and tell me, mommy, come out here, there are lots of cop cars, ambulances, firefighters, something happened,” she said.
Homicide Detective Nathan Sexton said the vendor was likely targeted because food vendors like him tend to carry cash.
APD officer Bino Cadenas tweeted a photo of the man, who he described as a paletero.
The Austin Police Department has a new report tracking crimes involving guns. It stems from a gun violence task force that formed last year to better identify trends.
The report showed every year, between 2015 and 2019, robbery accounted for about half of all violent crimes committed with guns.
“Of course, I want justice,” a neighbor said. “He was a good person. He dedicated himself to his work, but he didn’t deserve what was done to him.”
Detective Sexton said haven’t found any surveillance camera video that show what happened.
They’re asking for witnesses to share what they know.
Anyone with information or video of what happened June 23 should call APD Homicide at 512-974-TIPS or use the new Crime Stoppers App or email APD Homicide at firstname.lastname@example.org. APD emphasized you can remain anonymous and your immigration status will not be questioned.