TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The family of a good Samaritan killed in a New Year's day double murder prepares to lay Patrick Balbastro to rest; just days after his suspected killer was caught in Kansas City.
They will likely take up plenty of St. Augustine Cathedral on Saturday, it's a large family, one that say's Pat, as they called him, was frequently in touch with. They also state Patrick was the type to help someone in need.
"My cousin's legacy, he was a hero," stated Tina Newbury. "He is our hero."
Tina Newbury, Doreen Martinez and Monica Monkemeier say they are pleased to know police have caught the man suspected of killing their cousin Patrick Balbastro.
"Everything that happened that day, as we look back on it, it wouldn't change. I wouldn't have changed if he knew what the outcome would have been," said Newbury.
Police state that Michael Leday and Cindy Burnett got out of a Yellow Cab on Sunland Vista on New Year's Day and were allegedly arguing, when Balbastro and his girlfriend drove near the couple; Balbastro called 911 to report a man assaulting a woman. Police say Balbastro got out of his car to intervene but Leday got in Balbastro's car, and according to reports repeatedly drove over the other three people.
Burnett and Balbastro died, while Balbastro's girlfriend remains hospitalized.
"None of us over questioned and thought, like 'why did he have to stop? Why did he have to stop and help that lady? That was never a question for any of us just because it's like, that's the type of person that he is, that's the type of family we are in," stated Doreen Martinez.
Pat Balbastro visited his family in California often and was an avid Dodger and Laker fan, he was the youngest of four children, but his cousins say Pat was humble, not an attention seeker. Right now plenty are thinking about who he was and what he did in his last moments.
"The first thing that came to me was like, how proud I was and honored to be his cousin, that's what I felt right away," said Monica Monekemeier.
As the family deals with funeral expenses, they also hope police will focus on those who knew Leday and where he was after the murder.