The father of an Australian man shot by intruders at his U.S. family home has landed in Texas to see his son’s body.
Brenton Estorffe, 29, was gunned down in the lounge room of his home in Fort Bend County, Texas, just after midnight on Wednesday.
His father Michael Estorffe arrived at Houston Airport on Sunday morning saying ‘it still hasn’t sunk in that it is real’.
Mr Estorffe (pictured with wife Angeleanna) was shot dead past midnight just three minutes after he had turned 29
Mr Estorffe said he planned to start funeral arrangements and visit his son’s home to see the scene of the crime for himself.
‘We lived here in Houston for two years, it was a great place. We really enjoyed it here. This is a real tragedy to us,’ he told reporters.
He was greeted at the airport by the sister of Angeleanna Estorffe, his son’s wife, and Australian Consul General to Houston Peter McGauran.
‘[Brenton’s children Asher, 3, and one-year-old Eliana] will miss their father but hopefully we can help them get on with everything,’ he said.
‘We will just rest at home today and… have some reflective time with Ange and the grandchildren.’
His father Michael Estorffe arrived at Houston Airport on Sunday morning saying ‘it still hasn’t sunk in that it is real’
His wife Denise and daughter Paige arrived a day earlier as Mr Estorffe had problems obtaining a U.S. visa because he had worked for an oil company in Kurdistan.
He thanked his friends and government officials who helped get the visa organised so he could make it to his son’s adopted home.
Mr Estorffe earlier said he hasn’t been able to sleep since the harrowing call from his daughter-in-law that told him ‘Brenton’s been shot’.
Police are desperately trying to track down the two intruders who are accused of slaying Brenton releasing surveillance footage on Saturday of a ‘vehicle of interest’ and their descriptions.
‘All Ange said was, ‘Brenton’s been shot, I’ll call you later’, and the phone went dead,’ Mr Estorffe told The Australian.
Michael Estorffe (pictured right) said he hasn’t been able to sleep since learning his son had been killed in home invasion
‘My wife Denise was left hanging on the phone, and that’s when the mass hysteria set in.’
The parents of the 29-year-old were left waiting an agonising two hours before a series of frantic phone calls confirmed their son had died just three minutes into his birthday.
‘He wrestled those two blokes away from his wife and kids. That’s when they shot him. Unfortunately he paid the highest price,’ Mr Estorffe said.
The father from Queensland was killed after waking up to investigate the sound of a glass door smash in the middle of the night.
His father Michael had been struggling to secure a visa to attend his son’s funeral, due to be held on Tuesday.
He had been stranded in the family home in Mooloolaba on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast while his wife and three children flew to be by the side of Brenton’s family.
On Saturday morning, Mr Estorffe told Nine News he had finally been granted the visa and would be flying to the US immediately.
Police have released a ‘vehicle of interest’ (pictured) that the intruders are believed to have fled the scene in
Brenton, 29, desperately fought the attackers to stop them from getting to his wife and kids
Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls identified the ‘vehicle of interest’ as a light coloured four door sedan that police believe has a sunroof.
‘We will stop at nothing. We will investigate, we will investigate, we will investigate until we can bring these individuals to justice,’ Sheriff Nehls said in a press conference on Saturday.
‘We have a loving husband and a loving father, and now we have a grieving widow that has to raise these two children on her own and try to keep a memory of their dad.
‘He gave his life in defence of his family, what more honour can you bestow upon an individual than that.’
Sheriff Nehls described one of the suspects as being dark skinned, approximately five feet tall and 11 inches and said they were wearing a dark hoodie.
The other suspect was described as being six feet and 11 inches tall, dark skinned and had a slender build with short hair.
A $25,000 reward has been offered to track down the intruders accused of killing Brenton.
A neighbour found the father-of-two helpless after he was shot and tried to perform CPR.
A close friend of Brenton told News.com.au that they were like ‘brothers’.
Mr Estorffe’s father Michael said his son had been protecting his family when he was shot
‘He’s a hero in my eyes, a true man. He would jump in front of a bullet for even myself or any roommates if he had to,’ Robert Williams said.
‘I’m so grateful to even have known him.
‘He was part of my family, and he blessed my life more than he could ever know.’
Brenton had moved to the US to chase his dream of becoming a punter in the NFL, before getting married to local woman Angeleanna and starting a family.
Brenton’s 10 year residency visa had only just been approved but he wasn’t allowed to own his own gun as he is a foreigner.
Cobin Estorffe, Brenton’s younger brother, posted a tribute on Facebook just hours after the incident calling his sibling a ‘hero’.
‘Still not real brother, life will never ever be the same without you. Hands down you are my hero the way you stood up for your family,’ he posted.
Cobin Estorffe (centre, pictured with Brenton and Angeleanna Estorffe) paid tribute on social media to his brother
‘Can only dream to be a little bit like you. Thanks for the amazing times we had together. Miss you and love you so much.’
The family’s neighbour Kimberly Patel told local TV station KHOU that she recently met them for the first time, and described Mr Estorffe as a lovely person.
‘I can’t even imagine what the wife is going though right now,’ she said.
Ms Patel said crimes happen from time to time in the area, but the fatal shooting came as a surprise to her.
‘We’ve left our doors unlocked because we feel this is such a quiet neighbourhood. So it’s pretty shocking to be honest,’ she said.
Mr Estorffe’s death follows the 2017 shooting of Australian woman Justine Damond by a police officer and the 2013 shooting of Melbourne baseballer Chris Lane.
A $25,000 reward will be on offer for the person who can find the two intruders who shot an Australian man Brenton Estorffe dead (right with wife Angeleanna Estorffe) in Texas