It started over a shopping cart and ended with a young man’s death.
But what could have triggered a 57-year-old man to kill someone half his age?
Jose Torres was visiting the Wal-Mart at 5198 Boulder Highway with his elderly mother and a friend, Maria Alvarez. The trio were visiting the store Wednesday night for Torres to buy medication for his mother, who is more than 80 years old, the 53-year-old Alvarez said.
They left the store about 6:30 p.m. and walked to Alvarez’s maroon Chevrolet Tahoe. A shopping cart had hit the passenger’s side of the sport utility vehicle and scratched it, Alvarez said.
Alvarez got into the driver’s seat. Torres helped his mother get into the seat behind her, Alvarez said.
Then Torres walked to the passenger’s side of the vehicle.
According to the Las Vegas police arrest report for Torres, a white Chevrolet Malibu was parked on the passenger’s side of the Tahoe.
Oscar Hernandez, 24, and his brother, Carlos Umana, were seated inside, waiting for Hernandez’s girlfriend to get off of work, according to the report.
Torres walked to the driver’s side window of the Malibu, which had the window rolled down, Alvarez said.
Alvarez said she could not hear what was said, but she saw Hernandez get out of the vehicle.
Video surveillance captured the rest.
According to the arrest report, Hernandez knocked Torres to the ground. Torres got up and approached Hernandez.
Hernandez backed up, toward the entrance to the Wal-Mart, and had what appeared to be a belt in his right hand, according to the report. Torres pursued him to the front of the store, where he stabbed him several times, the report said.
Hernandez died at University Medical Center that night. Torres walked less than a block south on Boulder Highway before calling police on his cell phone.
When an officer arrived, Torres told the officer, “I just stabbed someone,” according to the report. A folding knife covered in blood was found in the nearby desert.
Alvarez called the incident a case of self-defense. She said that Torres’ mother got out of the vehicle to break up the fight but that Hernandez pushed her to the ground. Alvarez said Torres’ mother has bruises on her legs and knees.
“I think the guy went crazy,” Alvarez said of Hernandez.
It was not like Torres to pick a fight, Alvarez said.
“He was friendly with people,” she said. “He likes helping people.”
Alvarez’s daughter, 29-year-old Martha Alvarez, said Torres was a “very nice guy.” Both said he had an illness that made his hands and arms shake.
Torres is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center on a charge of murder with a deadly weapon.
The older Alvarez said she got a call from Torres after the incident from inside the jail. All he said was for her to take care of Torres’ mother.
Review-Journal writer Maggie Lillis contributed to this report. Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0440.