Teen charged with murder in gun shop robbery

Angel Cardenas

A teenager that committed a felony by burglarizing a Crosby gun shop has also been charged with the murder of one of the accomplices.

Angel Cardenas, 17, has been charged with felony murder and tampering with evidence in relation to a robbery that occurred Jan. 7 at the Central Guns and Barbershop in the 2000 block of Kennings Road in Crosby, according to court documents. 

When the would-be thieves tried to rob the gun shop that belongs to 79-year-old U.S. Army veteran Raymond Balcerowicz, the duo were met with gunfire from the shop’s owner. The robbers returned fire, but Balcerowicz took refuge behind a nearby tree and was able to fend off the shooters, who fled in a truck and a car. 

After the robbers fled, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call saying to come to the 3800 block of Morelos Road, some 10 miles away from the gun shop. There, Deputy B. Davis said he found Jose Flores, 23, dead on the side of the road near the passenger side of a white 2014 Chevrolet Spark with two gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at 4:53 a.m., court documents stated. 

The court documents further state Davis found a spent cartridge inside the vehicle and a 9mm spent cartridge on the ground next to the driver’s side door. Davis was then told about the gun shop robbery and that a small white car, along with a dark-colored pickup truck, were involved in the burglary. 

Davis said he also learned there two other individuals in the vehicle. One was identified as Cardenas, while the other was 20-year-old Jacob Angel Hinojosa. When first responders arrived, both Hinojosa and Cardenas were administering CPR to Flores. Hinojosa refused to provide a statement without legal representation. 

Davis said Cardenas was interviewed at the scene and at the police station, but he provided two different versions of events. On the scene, Davis said Cardenas claimed to be in the backseat and were driving down the street by Interstate 10 when a car drove up beside them and then started shooting. Cardenas claimed he did not see the vehicle or its driver. He also claimed Flores was driving and pulled over, so Hinojosa could drive since Flores had passed out. He also said Flores was too heavy to place back in the car. 

Davis said while interviewing Cardenas, he saw a large amount of mud on his shows and black soot on his hands. He felt the soot was consistent with burned wood. Another investigator told Davis three handguns were recovered in a pile of partially burnt wood just south of where the Chevrolet Spark was located. Recovered from the burnt pile of wood was a .40 caliber gun along with two 9mm caliber firearms. Two of the guns recovered from the burning pile had serial numbers that matched guns stolen from the Crosby gun shop. 

Cardenas changed his story once confronted with the stolen guns, Davis said in court documents. Davis said Cardenas first admitted placing the guns in the burned woodpile. Then he said he was at the Crosby gun store with Flores, and they were putting the guns in the back of the pick-up truck when someone started shooting at them. Cardenas and Flores got into the Chevrolet Spark and left the scene. They stopped on Morelos Street where Cardenas said he called 9-1-1 because Flores “wasn’t doing well from his gunshot.” 

Davis said in the documents an autopsy was performed on Flores and showed two bullets struck him. One was a 9mm bullet while the other was a .25 caliber bullet. After an interview with Balcerowicz, it was learned he fired a .25 caliber handgun at those who were stealing from his store. 

Davis said he saw a surveillance video from the Crosby gun shop showing a white car consistent with the Chevrolet Spark and a person that matched Flores’ description. He also saw another man with clothes consistent with what he saw Cardenas wearing. In addition, Davis also saw the shootout between the Balcerowicz and the robbers. 

Davis said since Cardenas admitting taking the guns from the Crosby store, which is admitting to burglarizing a building and stealing firearms, a felony crime. Davis said he also believes Flores was shot by both the gun shop owner and one of the burglary suspects. 

“His death was reasonably foreseeable as a consequence of committing and agreeing to participate in part of a combination to commit burglary and aggravated robbery,” Davis stated. 

Cardenas is in Harris County jail with a combined bail set at $225,000. 

   

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