Texas dad gunned down while carrying daughter’s birthday cake outside Chuck E. Cheese

HUMBLE, Texas — A Texas man has been charged with murder in a New Year’s Eve shooting that killed a young father as he carried his daughter’s birthday cake outside of a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.

Antoine Daniel Badon, 27, of Humble, is accused of gunning down Calogero Louis Duenes, 24, of Crosby, outside the children’s entertainment venue, which is about a mile down the road from Badon’s apartment. He is being held on charges of murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and assault of a family/household member by someone with a previous conviction.

The assault charges stem from crimes he allegedly committed in the week after Duenes’ homicide. Badon was arrested Jan. 5 for allegedly assaulting his mother, as well as for a Jan. 2 shooting outside a convenience store.

The victim in that case survived, according to authorities.

Humble police Detective Lt. Eric Squier told NBC News on Monday that the murder charge was added to Badon’s rap sheet after evidence in the convenience store shooting tied him to the Duenes homicide.

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“We waited for ballistics to return for a weapon we recovered, and it was linked back to our homicide over at Chuck E. Cheese,” Squier said.

Badon is being held in the Harris County Jail in lieu of a combined bond totaling $650,000, jail records show.

“We are happy to get some resolution to the family and hopefully get the family some answers to what happened to their loved one,” Squier said, according to NBC News.

Duenes’ obituary describes him as a loving father, son and cousin.

“He enjoyed gaming, (and) spending time with his kids and family,” the obituary states. “Calogero will be remembered for his love of laughter, sense of adventure and devotion to his family.”

Time with family was on Duenes’ mind just before 5 p.m. on Dec. 31 as he walked through the parking lot of the strip mall where Chuck E. Cheese is located. In his hands was a cake to celebrate the birthday of his 6-year-old daughter, Serina.

His wife, Amber Uresti, and their two daughters were already inside the venue when authorities said Duenes was almost struck by the black Ford Fusion Badon was driving. Investigators obtained surveillance footage that showed Badon driving the wrong way down a row of parking spaces, according to ABC 13 in Houston.

After the near miss, the men exchanged words and Badon produced a gun. Witnesses reported hearing three gunshots.

“I saw him,” Uresti told the news station earlier this month. “I saw him walking towards us. I told the lady my husband was on his way. I pointed at him, and the instant I turned around, he came running in through the door and he kept saying, ‘I got shot! I got shot!’”

Duenes ran back outside, where he collapsed. The birthday girl saw her father fall to the ground, Uresti said.

Duenes was rushed to a hospital, where he died of his injuries. A GoFundMe page set up to help his widow and children has more than doubled its goal of $20,000.

As of Friday afternoon, more than $54,000 had been raised.

Court records allege that Badon used the same gun on another victim two days later. Police allege that he drove up to Wilson Food Mart in Humble and approached two men walking out of the store.

“(Badon) got out of car and said, ‘You want smoke?’ and shot (complaining witness 1) in the chin, neck and arm,” a prosecution document states.

The other man began running, and Badon reportedly fired at him but missed. The injured victim was taken to Kingwood Hospital for treatment.

Like the incident at Chuck E. Cheese, the shooting was caught by a surveillance camera at the store, the records say. Badon fled the scene in the same black Fusion seen at the site of Duenes’ killing.

Humble police detectives later questioned Badon about the non-fatal shooting, showing him the video footage. According to a probable cause affidavit, he said it was not him in the recording, but his mother, who owns the Fusion, identified her car as the one seen leaving Wilson Food Store the day before.

Badon was ultimately arrested after the alleged assault on his mother, in which he is accused of slapping her in the face and leaving a visible injury, according to police. Court records indicate that Badon has a prior criminal history that includes a conviction for assaulting his brother.

Read the probable cause affidavit in Badon’s aggravated assault case below.

Uresti, who grew up with her husband in Corpus Christi, told ABC 13 that she and Duenes would have celebrated their 10th anniversary in September.

“Every day for the last 10 years, it’s been me and him,” she said. “I really don’t know what I’m going to do anymore.”

In the days immediately after the shooting, Uresti told the news station that her daughters, Serina and Mallory, 3, were struggling to understand what happened to their father.

“My daughter has been crying,” Uresti said. “She slept last night with her father’s shirt, crying until she fell asleep, and it breaks my heart. There’s nothing I can tell her. There’s no words to tell her other than, ‘Daddy is with you in your heart. He loves you.’”

Duenes’ sister-in-law described him as a doting father who adored his daughters.

“I feel so sorry for my nieces,” Rosemarie Uresti told NBC News earlier this month. “They have to grow up without a father now. He was a good father. He did everything for them.”

Amber Uresti said she was also struggling to understand.

“He had no weapons,” she told ABC 13. “He was holding my daughter’s birthday cake. He had nothing on him. I don’t understand why.”

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To Houston NBC affiliate KPRC, she lamented that he died alone at the hospital.

“My husband passed without me, without anybody to hold his hand, to comfort him,” Uresti said. “I want justice. I want justice for my children, for Calogero.”

Upon learning an arrest had been made, she expressed relief.

“It’s still hard, but I am glad he is not in the community right now, and I hope and pray that they don’t release him,” she said, according to ABC 13.