Grandmother shot to death in driveway of Houston home was beloved volunteer teacher's aide

HOUSTON, Texas -- A shooter is on the run after gunning down an innocent grandmother in the driveway of her east Houston home, police say.

The victim has been identified by family as 52-year-old Eleticia Rios Cano Martinez.



Authorities say Eleticia had just returned to her home on Harbor near Market Street around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday after visiting family members when she was killed.

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Surveillance video shows the suspect confront Eleticia, then open fire, shooting her three times as she was unlocking her gate.

The woman's husband, Felipe, and their grandchildren were inside the home at the time. They heard the gunshots but could not save her.

"Our complainant seems to be an innocent mother, grandmother. She works locally here in the neighborhood, and it is a very, very tragic incident," HPD Sgt. Thomas Simmons said.

Houston police told ABC13 a small car was seen parked in front of an abandoned home next door. It is believed the shooter was in the car when the victim pulled up.

Police say the suspect got back into his car and drove southbound on Harbor and crossed Market Street.

The motive of the shooting is unknown.

Felipe Martinez told ABC13 his wife was a volunteer teacher's aide at Raul C. Martinez Elementary School.

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Roxanna Martinez, Eleticia's daughter, says her mother had two children and three grandchildren, who all attended Martinez Elementary School.

"Me and my brother went to this school and my kids also went to this school. She volunteered, she lost her job and then she went back to volunteering just because she loved the school and the kids," said Roxanna.

School administrators say that Eleticia was well-loved.

It's also the same school where Eleticia's children were enrolled and now her grandchildren are there.

The district released the following statement about Leticia:

"We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of one of our volunteer teacher's aides who worked for Raul Martinez Elementary School for the past 22 years. She was a great educator who was loved by many and will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to her family and friends, as well as the entire Martinez Elementary School community. Grief counselors are on site today to provide support to students and staff and will remain on campus for as long as they're needed."

The couple's daughter lives in the home with them as well. Felipe says his wife had just received her income tax return check, but he isn't sure if that had something to do with it.

"Why did he do it? She did not deserve that. She was not a bad person, we never did anything wrong to anybody and we are always friendly," Felipe said.

Neighbors say they are stunned about her murder.

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"I have known her family for a long, long time. She was a lady who really cared about people and very friendly, and I want to find out what happened to her," said Maria Gutierrez, who was a close friend of the victim.

Detectives are working with digital forensics to go through surveillance video. They are hoping to get images that can identify the make and model of the suspect's vehicle.

If you have any information, you are urged to call police.

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The family of 52-year-old Eleticia Martinez says she was a beloved volunteer teacher's aide at Raul C. Martinez Elementary School.

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