It took months for an arrest in a high-profile murder case involving an 18-year-old who died while protecting his mother from robbers, but it appears a family’s five-year wait for justice may be all for naught.
Let’s take you back to Feb. 22, 2017, and a Subway restaurant located just off the Gulf Freeway and past the Loop. Javier Flores and his mom, Hilda Vasquez, were winding down a nighttime shift at the sandwich shop that has become a landmark to commuters during afternoon drives home.
At the same time, according to investigators, two people would end up holding up Subways in the area, including the one where Flores and Vasquez work.
The armed robbers entered the store, with one of them pointing a gun at Vasquez, who was then pushed out of the way by his son, who then gets hit in the neck.
The assailants take off, and Vasquez’s child collapses on the floor, bleeding out. Emergency responders were called, and Flores was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Since that night, the teenager’s family was front and center to the public, knowing the people who cut down a young man’s life were still out there.
And then, a breakthrough.
Almost three months later, on May 4, Jeffery Archangel was charged with capital murder. He was 25 at the time and was actually behind bars the month before in connection with another Subway robbery the same night Flores died. That was about the time his name first became known to investigators in the killing.
He made bond for that crime, so authorities issued a warrant, to which Archangel would respond with his surrender a day later.
Police said ballistics, a witness, and other evidence linked Archangel to Flores’ murder.
All of that happened within a space of a handful of months, but the case was still being prosecuted until last week.
A document in the 337th District Court stated Archangel’s charges were being dismissed due to a “missing witness.”
Just years before, Eyewitness News cameras captured tears, pain, and grief from a family who lost someone during a heroic act.
“I want justice. They have to pay. They took my son’s life. They’re supposed to get what they deserve,” Vasquez said back in May 2017.