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Police: 4 suspects sought in Texas doctor's slaying

  • Story Highlights
  • Suspects were at doctor's house when he, wife and child arrived, police say
  • Police responded to 911 call of burglary at rural home of Houston, Texas, doctor
  • Police found Dr. Jorge Mario Gonzalez shot to death and a ranch worker badly injured
  • Gonzalez's wife and toddler found unharmed; they reportedly hid in a closet
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(CNN) -- Four suspects are sought in connection with the shooting death over the weekend of a Houston, Texas, doctor, Austin County authorities said Monday.

Dr. Jorge Mario Gonzales was found shot to death at his ranch in rural Texas on Saturday, police say.

Dr. Jorge Mario Gonzales was found shot to death at his ranch in rural Texas on Saturday, police say.

Dr. Jorge Mario Gonzalez, 56, was chief of the critical care section at Houston's Methodist Hospital and "a pulmonary medicine leader," according to the hospital system's Web site.

He was found dead Saturday when deputies responded to a 911 call of a burglary in progress shortly after noon, said Austin County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Paul Faircloth.

The responding officer was met by vehicles leaving the location, Faircloth said, and a person in one vehicle fired on the officer. The officer and his car were not struck, and the officer did not return fire, Faircloth said. The officer was able to provide a detailed description of the vehicles, he said.

At the home, which Faircloth said is in a rural, wooded and isolated area, officers found Gonzalez shot to death and another person wounded. The second victim was airlifted to an Austin, Texas, hospital. Video Watch Dr. Gonzalez's son talk about his father »

Gonzalez's wife and small child were found unharmed inside the home, Faircloth said. CNN affiliate KHOU identified the woman as Charleen Gonzalez, 29, and the couple's 2-year-old son, and reported the two hid in a closet.

Authorities do not know whether the incident was a burglary or an intended home invasion, Faircloth said, and "we do not know if this is random or targeted." Several leads were being followed Monday morning, he said, and numerous agencies were involved in the investigation. The motive for the killing had not been determined on Monday.

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The slaying took place at Gonzalez's ranch outside Bellville, Texas, said Lisa Block, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. Gonzalez, his wife and child arrived at the ranch about 11 a.m. Saturday, she said, and "the suspects were at the house when they arrived." Gonzalez's wife ran inside with the child and called 911, she said.

Ranch worker Noel Galvan was the second victim, Block said. He was listed in critical condition, she said.

Faircloth said earlier Monday five suspects were being sought, but later said police were seeking four.

The vehicles seen leaving the home were a late '90s white Ford F-150 pickup, occupied by two Hispanic males, Faircloth said, and a red Honda or Acura with dark tinted windows sitting low to the ground, with one Hispanic male inside. The shots were fired from the white pickup, he said.

Another vehicle mentioned earlier Monday was a two-toned silver and black Ford F-150 that had two Hispanic males inside. Faircloth said Monday afternoon that vehicle had been located and was not thought to be involved.

However, police released a video of a gray Lexus on Monday, and would like to question its owners, Faircloth said. The drivers are believed to be an older couple. The car was seen before the officer encountered the white and red vehicles.

"The manhunt continues on the ground," Faircloth said. The suspects are considered armed and dangerous, he said.

Faircloth said he had no information on whether the home had surveillance equipment.

Family members told KHOU that Gonzalez went to the ranch nearly every weekend.

"It's deeply saddening for all of us," an older son of Gonzalez, Juan Mauricio Gonzalez, told KHOU. "We are a tight-knit family and he was just a perfect man, a perfect father and a great physician."

The Methodist Hospital System said Gonzalez will be missed, "both as a friend and an outstanding clinician and researcher. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family during this tragedy."


"This man had nothing to do with anybody," Juan Gonzalez told KHOU. "He was a peaceful man. He was a wise man. He was just here to make people better and nothing else."

A reward totaling $26,000 was offered for information in the case leading to an arrest.

CNN's Melanie Whitley contributed to this report.

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