Man killed in Tucson after stopping to help woman
TUCSON, Ariz. -- A couple who stopped to help a woman as she was being beaten on a Tucson street were run over by the attacker, police said. Two people died and another was hospitalized.
Patrick Balbastro, 32, and his girlfriend stopped their car early Wednesday in a neighborhood to help Cindy Burnett, 46, said Sgt. Chris Widmer, a police spokesman.
The fight escalated and the attacker got into Balbastro's car and repeatedly ran over the three people, Widmer said.
Balbastro was fatally injured. Burnett died at the scene.
Police said Balbastro's 43-year-old girlfriend remained hospitalized with critical injuries. Her name wasn't released.
The attacker drove off and later abandoned Balbastro's car after hitting a tree.
Widmer said Friday that police still don't know the identity of the suspect and only have a description from a taxi driver.
The incident began when Burnett and the unidentified man were dropped off by a cab and the man started beating Burnett, police said.
It remained unclear what prompted the assault and whether Burnett knew her attacker, Widmer said.
Balbastro called 911 as he arrived then got out of his car to help Burnett. His girlfriend followed.
Witnesses made multiple calls to 911 regarding the assault.
Balbastro was an electrician at a mine.
``Patrick was a stand-up guy,'' his sister, Lorraine Solorzano, told the Arizona Daily Star. ``He was a gentleman, and a loving uncle to his nieces and nephews.''
Solorzano and her husband were with Balbastro, his girlfriend and other friends on New Year's Eve at a dance.
``My brother was so happy and had wonderful plans for 2014,'' Solorzano said. ``He was making good money and planned to buy a house. He wanted to settle down, get married and have children.''