It would be a difficult position to be in when your father in a drunken stupor shows up on your doorstep flashing a knife and pepper-spray.
A 21-year-old Yoakum man fatally shot his father Saturday night but was released from police custody on grounds of self-defense, police said Sunday.
The son, Christopher Waligura, was at his home in the 700 block of Baldwin Street when he shot his 46-year-old father, Darrell Waligura, four times in his upper body. Neighbors, who referred to Waligura as an “innocent-looking kid,” said they were shocked to hear about the shooting.
Janie Mariscal said she didn’t know the younger Waligura well, but he was dating her cousin. The families live in the same neighborhood, and Mariscal said she often saw him walking around.
“He looked like a normal kid, I never thought he would do anything like that,” she said, sitting on a bench outside of a friend’s home.
Mariscal wasn’t home at the time of the shooting, but said her parents were.
“My mother said it sounded like fireworks going off,” she said.
Alvera Gonzales and her husband, Lupe, were painting a back bedroom in their home when they heard four loud bangs.
“I told my husband, ‘someone’s popping fireworks,” Gonzales said. “He said, ‘No, that’s gun shots.”
Shortly after, she said, the ringing sound of sirens filled the air and she saw the flashing lights of an ambulance.
Police officers responded to the home about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Yoakum Police Chief Karl Van Slooten said.
At the scene, he said, they found the body of Waligura in the front yard with multiple gunshot wounds in his upper body.
Waligura was taken to Yoakum Community Hospital and pronounced dead at 10 p.m. by Mark Ivey, Lavaca County justice of the peace.
Christopher Waligura was taken into custody, but later released pending further investigation.
The Advocate reached out to the family on Sunday. They declined to comment.
Van Slooten said the shooting remains under investigation, but said it appears to be a case of self-defense. The deceased was said to have brandished a large knife and a can of pepper spray before he was shot.
Neighbors said the 46-year-old was pacing back and forth down the block with the knife and appeared to be drunk.
The four shots were heard shortly after.
“It’s sad we have to see that here in our neighborhood,” Mariscal said. “You could hear the mother screaming.”
Ivey has ordered an autopsy of the body and said it will be sent to Travis County Medical Examiner’s office in Austin on Monday.
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