Why Did The Courthouse Gunman Do It? - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

2/25/05-Tyler

Why Did The Courthouse Gunman Do It?

"He hated his ex-wife and he thought his oldest son was a traitor," said Thad Davidson, Arroyo's criminal attorney. Davidson says after months of disagreements between Arroyo and his ex-wife, Arroyo may have snapped.

"He felt like he had no voice, he felt like in my opinion, he had no hope," said Davidson.

No hope that he'd ever get full custody of his youngest son or be able to pay his 240 dollar a month child support. 

"At the time of the divorce and until yesterday, Mr. Arroyo was unemployed. He was receiving approximately 800 dollars a month in disability," said Arroyo's Child Support Attorney, Peter Milne.

Arroyo's niece Maria Avelar says his inability to pay child support or have custody of his 9 year old son, upset him deeply.

"He was everything to him," said Maria.

Maria told me, Arroyo feared he was going to be put in jail yesterday after his child support hearing because of his inability to pay. His court appointed child support attorney says that was possible. Maria says Arroyo would have rather chosen death over being put in jail because of his ex-wife.

"I think what was going through his mind was, 'ok I am going to do this.' This is what a Hispanic man would think. I am going to kill her and I know I am not going to be alive from there, so I am going to do what I can. I am going to try to get away," said Maria.

"Then why wear the body armor?"

"It was only on his chest, his head was free. Other parts of his body was free," says Maria indicating police could have killed him even though he was wearing body armor.

Attorney Peter Milne confirms Arroyo's behavior was unusual. He spoke with Arroyo just hours before the shooting.

"Mr. Aroyo seemed very agitated and upset when he spoke with me yesterday. He was angry, upset, but he was kind of distant. The best word I can use is disconnected," said Milne.

Milne only spoke with Arroyo on the phone and said that Arroyo had skipped a scheduled meeting before the child support hearing. Milne says he never thought Arroyo would be violent. Earlier this month, Arroyo was put on probation for assault. He was given deferred adjudication and a $200 fine. According to court documents, he struck Marible with his fist. However, Arroyo's attorney says that assault never happened. According to the district attorney's office, Marible also told members of the DA's Victims Services Division that her ex-husband had made threats against her, her son and every member of her family. Maribel was told to report the threats to police, but Tyler police records show Marible did not report the case.

Michelle Mortensen, Reporting.

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