Houston aquarium gunman was out on bond during a seemingly random murder-suicide


‘Career criminal’ who shot random couple at Houston aquarium before killing himself was released from jail on bond in April and had a history of mental illness

  • Danny Cazares, 39, shot the couple and then himself at the Houston aquarium on Thursday
  • Gabriel Moriones Vargas, 28, was killed and his 24-year-old wife was injured  
  • Houston police said Cazares, who had a history of mental illness, was arrested three times in the last year and was released on bond all three times 
  • His latest release was in April after an arrest for felony possession of a weapon 
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted: ‘Killings by criminals out on bond skyrocket in Houston. That’s why I made bail bond reform an emergency item’

Danny Cazares, 39, (pictured) was out on bond when he shot at a random couple in a Houston aquarium

The gunman in a murder-suicide at the Houston aquarium was a career criminal who suffered from mental illness and was out on bond at the time of the shooting. 

Danny Cazares, 39, fatally shot Gabriel Moriones Vargas, 28, and injured his wife before tuning the gun on himself in a seemingly random act of violence on Thursday night.  

Houston police said in a statement that Cazares had a history of mental illness and was arrested three times in the last year. 

All three times, he was released from jail on bond. 

The most recent was in April after he was charged with felony possession of a weapon, Fox 26 reported.   

Before that, he was out on bond for criminal mischief in October 2020 and then again in September 2020 for criminal trespass of a fire station. 

Scroll down for video. 

Gabriel Moriones Vargas, 28, was fatally shot in a Houston aquarium

Gabriel Moriones Vargas, 28, was fatally shot in a Houston aquarium 

Moriones Vargas and his wife were visiting Houston from New York when they were randomly shot at. Moriones Vargas’ wife is in stable condition in the hospital 

Releasing convicted felons on bond is a topic that Harris County, which includes Houston, is wrestling with. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted  a story by the Houston Chronicle that says there’s a link between murders in Harris County and defendants being released on bond. 

‘Killings by criminals out on bond skyrocket in Houston. That’s why I made bail bond reform an emergency item,’ Abbott said in his tweet.

‘In 2020, 18,796 defendants were charged with new crimes while out on bond. Texans would be alive today if stricter Bail Bond laws existed.’

The shooting happened at the entertainment and dining complex Downtown Aquarium around 8:30 p.m. Thursday

The shooting happened at the entertainment and dining complex Downtown Aquarium around 8:30 p.m. Thursday

The young couple from New York was visiting Houston and having dinner in a restaurant in the aquarium in downtown Houston when Cazares opened fire. 

Vargas was pronounced dead at the scene. His 24-year-old wife is in stable condition in the hospital, Houston police said.   

The shooter and the New York couple didn’t know each other before the shooting, and police don’t have a motive.   

 After the shooting, Houston police said they reviewed footage from inside the restaurant that shows the suspect get up from his seat ‘in a very quick manner.’

The suspect then went around the bar to the area where the victims were dining when he ‘immediately started firing rounds.’

The suspect then ‘immediately committed suicide with one self-inflicted gunshot wound.’

Moriones Vargas, 28, lost his life Thursday when he was shot in a seemingly random act of violence

Moriones Vargas, 28, lost his life Thursday when he was shot in a seemingly random act of violence

He was visiting an aquarium in Houston with his wife when the gunman opened fire

He was visiting an aquarium in Houston with his wife when the gunman opened fire

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