ABILENE, Texas — A fight over a discarded box spring ended when a west Texas man was gunned down by his two shirtless neighbors in a shocking confrontation recorded by the victim’s girlfriend.
Police say Aaron Howard, 37, was fatally shot on Sept. 1 in an alley next to his house after he got into a screaming match with his armed neighbors, John Miller, 67, and his 31-year-old son, Michael. The entire incident was caught on tape by Howard’s fiance, Kara Box.
“I stepped in between Aaron and John, then my ears started ringing from the gunshots,” Box told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I just screamed and screamed.”
The spat began after Howard had tossed the box spring in a dumpster in the alley that separates his house from the Millers. Police say the Millers were angry about the trash and threw it back onto Howard’s property, triggering a confrontation.
Box said when Howard first arrived in the alley, he was accompanied by her and his young niece and nephew. The Millers, who were both shirtless, came armed, with John carrying a pistol and Michael toting a shotgun.
“You pulled a gun in front of my kids over a mattress?” Howard screamed, according to the video.
While the Millers cursed at Howard and told him to step away, he grew increasingly agitated and was eventually handed a bat by his brother. The Millers warned him not to come any closer, and then shots are heard on the tape. The younger Miller was filmed firing at least once from his shotgun.
“No, no, Aaron!” Box could be heard screaming as she ran to his crumpled body.
Police say Howard appeared to be about seven feet away and was raising the bat when the Millers opened fire.
Officers arrived quickly after receiving reports of shots fired. Howard was declared dead at the scene and the Millers surrendered without incident. Both men have been charged with first-degree murder and were held on $250,000 bond each.
Box said she decided to publicly release the video because “people deserve to know what actually happened and you know they deserve to know John and Michael Miller are murderers.”