It seemed like an ordinary neighborhood Halloween party in a quiet Fort Worth suburb.
Cary Heath was there with his wife and he appeared calm as he engaged in a “friendly and cordial” conversation, the homeowner would later tell police.
Minutes later, police say, Heath — a 35-year-old middle school science teacher — would turn violent, killing two neighbors who had dropped by the gathering Sunday night.
The question facing family and friends of the two 25-year-old victims — Daniel Haros and Phillip Evans — is why?
“The murderer did not know our sons,” Evans’s mother, Paige Hudson Garcia, wrote on Facebook, according to CBS affiliate KHOU. “The shooting was completely senseless (almost random) but he is NOT remorseful (which is how he was caught).”
“Our sons were defenseless and unarmed (in their ‘pajamas’ in the front yard of their home) — truly innocent victims by all accounts, in every sense of the word,” she added.
The day after the fatal shootings, Heath taught his classes at Permenter Middle School and acted “completely normal,” one student told CBSDFW.
Police arrested Heath in the school parking lot after classes ended, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which noted that the school district has placed him on administrative leave.
Heath has been charged with capital murder and his bond was set at $1 million Tuesday.
“It’s very scary because you know, you have all the kids over there and you don’t want anybody’s kids to get hurt, whether it’s your or anybody else’s because they should be safe over there … just to go to school and get their education and come home,” Permenter parent Teresa Moreno told CBSDFW.
The violence began minutes after Heath left the Halloween party and went next door to his home, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Not long after, a 911 caller whose name was redacted told police that gunshots rang out.
The caller said he saw Heath standing over Haros and striking him with the butt of a rifle.
The caller “yelled for the suspect to stop and the suspect pointed the weapon at [redacted] and asked if [redacted] had a problem,” the affidavit states.
Haros had stopped by the party with Evans and two others who “came over for less than five minutes” while everyone stood in the front yard, the affidavit states.
Haros was in the driveway of one home and Evans, who sometimes used the last name “Garcia,” was found in the front yard of a nearby residence.
“Mr. Heath went to the victim’s home, they came outside and he shot them to death,” Fort Worth Police Sgt. Marc Provero told CBSDFW.
After the shooting, the affidavit states, Heath ran into his neighbor’s house, handed his 1-year-old to someone and said: ‘This is the last time I will see the baby. I killed two people.’ ”
“Cary then ran out of his house,” the affidavit adds.
Heath’s wife, Tiffany, told police that the morning after the slayings, her husband acknowledged carrying out the killings, the affidavit notes. She told police that her husband asked her to clean the blood in the gun safe where he kept his weapons.
A Tarrant County medical examiner told investigators that Haros and Evans were killed by “multiple gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma to the face and head.”
A GoFundMe campaign aimed at raising money for Haros’s funeral costs has raised more than $7,000 in a single day.
“Our hearts break for the families of Daniel Haros and his best friend Phillip Garcia, who were maliciously shot and killed early Sunday morning in their driveway,” the campaign’s story states.
“Due to circumstances beyond the families’ control, life insurance has declined payment due to age. We are asking for support for this family. Daniel was a wonderful person and loved by many.”
The men, who were living with Haros’s parents, had been best friends since childhood, relatives told KHOU.
The men were regulars at a bar called Dalton’s Corner, KHOU reported.
“If you see one, you would always see the other,” Destinee Berry, a close friend, told the station. “They were inseparable.”
Another friend, Christina Aguirre, told KHOU that she had hung out with both men and their girlfriends Friday night in Fort Worth.
“The last thing I said to them was, ‘I love you,’ ” Aguirre said. “They were giving me a hard time because I was leaving early . . . I made both of them take selfies with me.”