Surveillance video released in deadly home invasion

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Police have released surveillance video that could help them catch three suspects in a deadly home invasion in west Phoenix.

It happened Thursday night in a neighborhood near 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

A man told 3TV he and his son were in the area when they heard shouting.

"It sounded like they were saying, ‘They killed him! They killed him,’ " the man said. Fearing retaliation, he asked to be identified only as Jose.

Jose said he and his son rushed over to help and saw that 53-year-old Augustine Valenzuela was severely wounded.

"When we got to the house, we saw his wife holding his neck,” he said. “He had a big slit on his neck and his face was disfigured."

"It looked like the cut was one inch across here,” Jose continued, pointing to his neck. "And his face was unrecognizable. You couldn't see his eyes anymore or nose. He was bleeding all over."

Jose said Valenzuela's son called 911 while Valenzuela's wife, Patty, put pressure on the wound with a towel.

"We tried to calm them down,” Jose said. “I tried to tell her everything would be OK, but once we took her to the hospital, about 20 minutes passed and they told us he had died."

Police said three men broke into the back of the home and physically assaulted Valenzuela in the den.

His wife and sons, ages 20 and 14, heard commotion, but when they got close to the den, they were forced to the ground at gunpoint.

Police said the suspects left through the front door.

Valenzuela later died at a hospital.

Police believe a car seen coming and going in the surveillance video could be connected to the home invasion.

"It happened extremely fast. Very, very fast,” said neighbor Navi Vong.

The time stamp on the video shows the car approaching the house at 10:29 and leaving at 10:37.

"I wish I would have seen the suspects,” Vong said.

3TV reached out to the Valenzuela family, but they said they are still too shocked to speak about the home invasion.

"It's too much pain for her," said neighbor Bertha Arrendondo.

Police believe it was a robbery but are trying to determine whether the Valenzuela family was targeted or selected at random.

Anyone with information is asked to call Phoenix police.