Florida man who stopped gunman after family killed says months of threats were ignored

Reporter: Michael Hudak
Published: Updated:

Geiler Velazquez Alvarez is now known as the Lehigh hero.

He fought off a gunman who entered his home on 11th Terrace and shot his mother, brother and sister last week.

His two children, a 4-year-old and 3-year-old, were able to escape the home with his wife because he confronted the gunman, but his mother Eugenia and little brother Josue were killed before Alvarez could save them.

In an exclusive interview, Velazquez Alvarez has revealed that the alleged killer’s threat did not just start on the day of the murders.

Yohani de Lazaro, 45, is accused of sending messages months ago saying that he was going to kill them.

Geiler Velazquez Alvarez is grieving the death of his mom and brother after a gunman killed them in their Lehigh Acres home. (CREDIT: WINK News)

“I cannot save the life of my mom and my brother,” Velazquez Alvarez said. “When my brother went out at about 6 a.m., and Yohanni he shot him in the back of the head. Then he got in the house and shot my sister and my mom.”

Josue was only 22 years old. Both of them were gunned down by de Lazaro, who knew their family.

“We were going to the courthouse to do the judicial process for the property,” Velazquez Alvarez said.

His sister and de Lazaro, who the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said is the shooter, were engaged in an ongoing fight over who was the rightful owner of the house on 11th Terrace.

They were supposed to be in court on the day of the shooting.

“I think he was spying on us and watching us,” Velazquez Alvarez said. “He had made two threats before.”

A dispute over the home is what apparently caused a gunmen to kill 2 and injure 1 in Lehigh Acres. (CREDIT: WINK News)

According to Velazquez Alvarez, months before that, de Lazaro took a video of the house with a warning.

“He sent us a threatening message and that message said that he would kill us because we had a court date,” Velazquez Alvarez said. “I tried to speak with him via text message, and I sent him a text message, but he never responded to me. I sent him a message saying to him that we can resolve the problem, but he didn’t respond to me.”

He said his sister went to the sheriff’s office, but said the sheriff’s office told her a restraining order was not necessary against de Lazaro.

Velazquez Alvarez said he knows what triggered the violence.

“When he realized he would lose, that’s when he decided to do this,” he said.

WINK News has reached out to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for comment, but we have not heard back.

Velazquez Alvarez’s sister is in stable condition at a hospital after being shot in the face.

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