Tyler Gunman's Niece Witnesses His Shooting Death

David Arroyo's niece says she witnessed the shooting death of her uncle this afternoon by coincidence.

Maria Avelar, her husband, and their 4-year-old son just happened to be driving on Highway 271, behind the police chase, when they recognized Arroyo's truck. They stopped to see what was going on and soon learned the horrific story.

Avelar came by KLTV Thursday night and told us, Arroyo's mother had just died last week. She says, that, on top of losing custody of his 10-year-old son, is likely what drove Arroyo to kill.

Avelar works on The Square in Downtown Tyler, but had not gone to work Thursday before the shooting.

"Why he did it, we don't know, because he was the nicest man," she said, teary eyed. "He was real sweet. He used to come here to the office all the time. He always had a smile on his face. He was losing everything he wanted. I mean, he loved his mother dearly, you know. He loved his kids to death, you know. You know, everything. To him, his kids were his life."

Avelar says Arroyo shot his own son, David, Jr., 22, probably because he was angry at him for siding with his mother, Arroyo's ex-wife, in the custody battles.

Julie Tam, reporting.