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13 Nov 2019 5:31
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  •   Home > News > International

    Australian man Brenton Estorffe killed during home invasion in Texas while his wife and children slept

    US police are investigating reports of a car speeding away from the scene of the shooting, which took place while the victim's wife and two young children were asleep in their beds.

    US police say they will "stop at nothing" to identify those who shot and killed Australian man Brenton Estorffe during a home invasion in Texas.

    The 29-year-old Brenton Estorffe was shot dead in his home in the city of Katy, near Houston, in the early hours of Wednesday (local time), police said.

    His wife and two young children were in the house sleeping at the time of the shooting.

    Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said Mr Estorffe was woken by two intruders as they broke into the home.

    "He woke up and confronted two individuals in his living room, at which point in time he was shot and killed," Sheriff Nehls said.

    Mr Nehls said he did not have a clear idea of why the pair broke into the house.

    "Most individuals who want to commit a burglary do it when people are not at home, when they are working," he said.

    "These individuals pulled in there around midnight, broke glass into the back of the house and then, you know — I don't think they were there to commit a burglary.

    "There were cars parked in the driveway.

    "I don't know what their motive was but what I do know is this: they made some very poor decisions. They took a young man's life."

    Younger brother mourns 'hero'

    Mr Estorffe's younger brother Cobin Estorffe wrote on Facebook that life would "never, ever be the same" without Brenton.

    "Hands down you are my hero the way you stood up for your family," he wrote.

    "Can only dream to be a little bit like you.

    "Best mate, oldest brother, a son, a father, an uncle, a husband and a f***ing hero."

    Brenton's father Michael Estorffe said the family was preparing for his son's funeral, expected to take place early next week.

    He said he was worried he may not get there in time, due to issues with getting a visa.

    "It's hard because the rest of the family is over there already and I'm stuck here," he said.

    Steve Turner wrote on Facebook that it was a senseless act "leaving nothing but pain and memories of a really great guy, wonderful son brother husband father and friend to so many".

    Brenton Estorffe went to Mountain Creek State High School on Queensland's Sunshine Coast but later transferred to a high school in the US state of Virginia.

    He later attended Southern Virginia University.

    Neighbourhood 'on edge'

    Police spokeswoman Jessica Reyes earlier said officers were investigating a car that reportedly sped away from the scene, but did not have a suspect.

    "The Fort Bend County Sheriff will stop at nothing to identify these individuals, apprehend them and bring them to justice," Mr Nehls said.

    "We have a team of detectives scouring the neighbourhood, looking at surveillance videos, talking to individuals."

    He said the fatal shooting "startled" residents in the area.

    "We are a very large county that has very little violent crime," Mr Nehls said.

    "You talk to neighbours and some of them leave their doors even unlocked.

    "There are people in this neighbourhood that are on edge right now with what took place the other night."

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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