Father and son caught on video gunning down their neighbor following dispute over a dumped mattress
Aaron Howard's fiancee, Kara Box, who shot the video said about her neighbors: "You deserve to spend your lives in prison."
WARNING: VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED. CONTENT CONTENT MAY BE TOO DISTRESSING FOR SOME VIEWERS.
Shocking footage of a man and his son fatally shooting their neighbor over a trivial argument about dumping of a mattress has emerged on social media.
The incident took place on September 1 in Abilene in West Texas, and the footage shows 67-year-old John Miller, and his 31-year-old son Michael Miller shooting 37-year-old Aaron Howard.
Authorities said they received a call around 10.30 am over a neighborhood fight over dumping of the mattress and also told that shots had been fired. They immediately rushed to the scene and found an injured Howard, who died later in the day in the hispital. The Miller's were arrested on murder charges soon after.
According to the Star-Telegram, Howard's fiancee, Kara Box, took a video of the argument on her cell phone. She said: "I stepped in between Aaron and John (Miller), then my ears started ringing from the gunshots. I just screamed and screamed."
The heated exchange took place in the alley behind Howard's home on Don Juan, Abilene, about 150 miles to the west of Fort Worth. Authorities said the altercation had been brewing a few days before taking a fatal turn on September 1.
Accoring to reports, the couple had moved into the home next to the Millers in April this year. Until the fateful incident on September 1, they had never seen the father and son face to face. Box said: "We had thrown out a twin mattress in a dumpster in our alley a few days before the shooting. You have to have the mattress in the dumpster or they will not haul it away."
On the day of the shooting, the couple had noticed that the mattress was on their property again so they threw it back into the dumpster.
Box then said that it was at this point that John Miller came out into the alley, took the mattress out and then threw it back onto the couples' property. Howard then told the man to put the mattress back into the dumpster which he refused and started using foul language. Box said: "That’s when John (Miller) pulled a pistol out of his shorts."
According to Box, Howard's nieces and nephews had been in the backyard of their home watching the entire thing.
She said: "Aaron goes into pappa bear mode. A man has just pulled a gun on his wife, his brother, his nieces and nephews." The two men start engaging in an argument at which point, Michael Miller arrived with a shotgun. According to Box, Howard received a baseball bat from his brother but did not use it and was otherwise unarmed. The devastated fiancee gave the footage of the tragic incident to local TV station - KTXS-TV. The footage shows both father and son holding firearms.
John Miller can be seen holding a pistol and his son, who was standing a few feet behind him, can be seen holding a shotgun. The two men were shirtless and appeared to be waiting for an opportunity to fire their weapons while they were verbally arguing with Howard. Howard, on the other hand, can be heard in the video asking the men to put their guns down. Miller is then heard telling Howard: "If you come closer to me, I’m gonna kill you. If you come within 3 feet of me, I’m going to kill you."
Howard then says to Box: "Hey, did you hear him say he’s going to kill me?" She replies: "Yes". Howard then tells the Millers: "I’m at the dumpster. Put the gun up and go inside!"
The argument reaches a fever pitch with both sides making threats against each other. Box tried to get in between the three men just before Howard gets shot. She told the news station: "You can see that I step between them and I said, "You’re not gonna shoot my husband'." She then said that John Miller "fired past my head".
Box said that she then ran to Howard in the middle of all the confusion. Four shots were fired in total. Howard suffered gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Box can be heard screaming in the video: "No, no, Aaron!" as she runs towards him.
According to the devastated woman, John Miller then came up behind her and put his pistol against her head and ordered her to get down. She said: "I ran to Aaron and for a second I thought he was going to be OK, but he didn’t make it. People deserve to know what actually happened,’ Box says when asked why she decided to release the footage to a television news broadcast.
"They deserve to know that John and Michael Miller are murderers."
James Hicks, the Taylor County District Attorney, said that he only found out that the video of the incident existed from KTXS-TV. He said in a statement: "Video evidence like this is always graphic and very difficult to watch. But it is consistent with the charges." When Box was asked if she had any message for the Millers, she said: "You deserve to spend your lives in prison."
The woman has since moved out of the home on Don Juan street. The father and son duo are currently free on a $25,000 bond.