Posted: Dec 15, 2012 9:41 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Dec 15, 2012 10:44 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Family members of a man murdered inside a restroom at the Sunrise Mall identified the victim as 72 year old Donald Lenertz.
Family members are still coping with the shock of Donald's sudden death and they just don't understand why it happened. A sentiment that many people at Sunrise Mall shared.
"It just makes you sick. You know, something like this happens almost every day or every other day," said one mall-goer.
Those we spoke to on the way into Sunrise Mall were taken aback by the news of a murder taking place only a few feet away from them.
Police rushed to Sunrise Mall around 11 am after two security guards found Donald's body lying on a bathroom floor. Officers would later track down 39 year old George Viera outside JC Penny at La Palmera Mall.
"Is there anything at all you want to say to the news," I asked Viera as police rushed him into the police station.
Viera was wearing shorts and no shoes because police say he stopped off at the Asian Buffet and cleaned up in the men's restroom before making his way to La Palmera.
We spoke with Jerry taylor, a Wilcox employee who said Donald was a regular at Sunrise Mall. He used to walk the halls everyday.
"Spoke to him yesterday."
The two had formed a bit of a friendship in their daily chats.
"We would just talk politics, just small talk, you know. Nothing big. But he's really nice, he would always stop and we'd speak and have a few words and then he would go his way and I would go mine," said Taylor .
Taylor said that Donald usually brought his daughter along on his morning walk.
"I just couldn't believe it, because I know he didn't bother anybody."
The suspect, 39 year old George Viera has been charged with capital murder, possession of dangers drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police say his charge was raised to capital murder because they believe he also stole money from Donald sometime during the attack.
Off camera, i spoke with Donald's son in law, Dru.
He said Donald was a good man who though in his 70's, was responsible for his daughter and wife, both of whom suffer from different medical conditions. Dru says Donald was a "straight shooter" who never bothered anyone.
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