Deadly shooting on Christmas started with a couple arguing, then neighbor got involved

- A man is telling deputies he opened fire on a total stranger, because he was trying to stop a nasty argument between husband and wife.  He is now charged with murder but is cooperating, authorities say. 

Jonathan Velasquez, 24, said he had to intervene in the argument, but family members of the victim tell investigators that he got it all wrong.

Velasquez is reportedly telling deputies it was Christmas night, he was visiting loved ones on Montclair Way, and he heard commotion coming from a nearby back-yard.  Velasquez told deputies when he looked outside, he saw 38-year-old Robert Hugh-Patrick Gray arguing with a woman.

Velasquez said there was screaming, slapping, and he thought things were about to get out of control, so he armed himself and tried to talk to Gray. Velasquez told deputies Gray was coming towards him, and was within ten feet, so he shot. Gray died a short time later at an area hospital.

Gray’s mother said her son and daughter-in-law argue often, but added that her son would never hurt her.  She said Velasquez should’ve called 911 and let professionals handle the domestic dispute.

“My son is a very kind loving person and he never hurt nobody,” Gray said.

Her son leaves behind five children. The investigation continues.

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