A heart-wrenching tragedy that left a family shattered, and a community reeling has finally seen a glimmer of hope with a man charged with murder.
Brenton Estorffe, a young Queensland man living in Katy, Texas, was shot dead in a terrifying home invasion in 2019.
Three-and-a-half years on, there is a chance justice might finally be served.
The father of two, who moved to the US in 2012 to play college football at Southern Virginia University, had just celebrated his birthday with his American wife and their two young children in their home in the outer suburbs of Houston.
Australian man Brenton Estorffe was shot and killed in a home invasion in Houston in 2019. Supplied
But the night of October 19, 2019, took a horrific turn when intruders allegedly broke in and confronted the family.
In a brave effort to protect his young family, Mr Estorffe stood up to the assailants, but tragically, he was shot.
His wife Angelenna’s frantic call to 911 captured her tears and palpable fear as she begged for help.
“Help me please … oh … someone just broke into my house and shot my husband,” she told operators as her husband bled out in their living room.
Brenton Estorffe was shot in Katy Texas, pictured with his wife Angelenna Estorffe. Supplied
“I just heard glass shattering, and then my husband jumped up and took off after them … and they just … they started shooting.”
“I don’t know (if he’s still breathing), I’m so scared to walk over there, they shot him … oh my God, I think he’s really hurt.”
Congressman Troy Nehls, who was the County Sheriff at the time, said Mr Estorffe’s death would haunt him.
“And they got the wrong guy. They shot and killed the wrong guy,” he said. “I’ll never forget this case.”
Surveillance footage of the car suspected of being involved in the murder of Australian Brenton Estorffe by intruders in 2019. Picture: Scott Dalton
For three and a half long years, the killer remained at large, and the Estorffe family and their friends were left to grapple with the devastating loss.
But this week, there was a breakthrough. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office announced that they had arrested 21-year-old Jadon Carpy and charged him with Mr Estorffe’s murder.
He remains in Fort Bend County Jail with his bond set at $A523,000.
Jadon Carpy, 21, has been charged him with Brenton Estorffe murder. Picture: Supplied
While it’s a small step towards closure, there’s still a long road ahead, with investigators believed to be pursuing others involved in the deadly home invasion.
“Another life was taken away so tragically in the hands of a criminal,” Sheriff Eric Fagan said upon confirming the charges.
“Although we cannot bring Mr Estorffe back to his family, the tireless efforts of our investigators to identify the suspect in the case don’t go unnoticed.”
Mr Estorffe’s father, Michael, speaking to 7 News after the arrest, expressed his disbelief that justice might finally be served.
Michael Estorffe, Brenton’s father expressed his disbelief at the news and hoped that justice would be served for his son. Picture: Scott DaltonBrenton’s death left a family shattered and a community reeling, but the arrest offers a chance for justice and closure. Supplied
“It doesn’t feel real,” he said, “but, like I always said, life’s cruel, but you’ve got to be strong and get through it.”
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He spoke of the pain his family had endured since Mr Estorffe’s death and the fact that others involved in the crime had been able to go about their lives as if nothing had happened.
“We’ve suffered since day one, and all those other people that were involved in this have been having Christmases and all their birthdays at home, and enjoying their lives,” he said.