EULESS, TX -- The lives of two men -- one with a bright future, another with a troubled past -- collided Tuesday.
Euless Officer David Hofer spent five years with the NYPD before moving to Texas, getting engaged, and settling into the suburbs in a house he bought with his fiancee, Marta.
Meanwhile, Jorge Gonzalez was racking up a string of arrests for theft and assault. His family called the police on him numerous times, which led to them meeting Officer Hofer.
"He was one of the officers that came once or twice to the house to make sure we were okay when my brother was out of control," said Jennifer Gonzalez, the suspect's sister.
Monday night, one of those "out of control" moments landed Gonzalez in jail for public intoxication. He was released Tuesday morning and sentenced to community service. His family believes he was still high on meth when he was released.
"He was still under the influence of that stuff," Jennifer said. "They shouldn't have let him out."
The cops tell a different story. Euless Police Chief Michael Brown said in a press conference Wednesday that Gonzalez "showed no signs of intoxication" Tuesday morning.
Either way, he left the Euless detention facility and hours later allegedly broke into a house, setting off a tragic series of events.
"The suspect left the home with stolen weapons and walked across the street to Carr Park," Brown said at Wednesday's presser. "We received a 911 call that reported the sound of gunfire at the park at 2:45pm. The suspect had taken a position of cover in a drainage ditch."
Brown says it was Officer Hofer who spotted Gonzalez, after which Gonzalez opened fire, shooting Hofer before other officers returned shots.
Officer Hofer and Gonzalez both died in the shootout, leaving two families struggling with this senseless tragedy and wondering -- could this all have been prevented?