Isidro Zarate dropped his wife off near the front door of a Walmart around 4pm on Black Friday. As Zarate circled around the packed parking lot waiting for his wife to finish shopping, he noticed a couple arguing. It wasn’t until Zarate saw the young man grab the woman by her hair and begin physically assaulting her, that he stopped to intervene.
“Take your hands off of her,” were reportedly Zarate’s only words before the young man, Teles Mandan Juarez, 21, pulled out a gun and fired multiple rounds towards his vehicle, striking him once.
Zarate suffered a catastrophic injury to the neck, and subsequently died of his wounds in the Walmart parking lot at age 39.
Two other people were also injured during the incident. One woman, a passenger in Zarate’s car, was struck by a piece of shrapnel. And a second woman, not involved in the incident, was struck by a stray bullet as she was walking through the parking lot. Both are expected to make a full recovery.
After inflicting the catastrophic injury that resulted in Zarate’s death, Juarez fled the scene by vehicle. However, he was discovered by the police department’s helicopter ten miles away from the crime scene. Juarez would later be charged with murder and aggravated assault, two felony charges.
Waiting at the front of the store for her husband to pull up, Lisa Benavides remained unaware that Zarate, her spouse of twenty-two years, had passed away from his catastrophic injury. It wasn’t until she noticed the swarm of police cars that she realized something was astray. Once she was informed of the shooting, and realizing that it was her car amid the chaos, she ducked under the police tape and discovered the awful truth.
Still devastated by the loss of her husband, Benavides, who raised four children with Zarate, continues to share his memory saying, “he didn’t like for a man to beat up a woman. I don’t know why this happened, I miss him so much.”
The catastrophic injury that took Zarate’s life blindsided his family, and with few expenses to go towards his funeral, his niece, Melanie Marie, created a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of Benavides. As of late, the campaign has surpassed it’s goal of $20,000, but remains open for anyone who would like to donate to the Zarate family.