A man accused of fatally shooting an El Paso lawyer and injuring her husband was arrested this week after hunting the couple down at their home in what he claimed was an effort to root out “satanic activities” including abortions by “magic” at a nearby park.
Police are now holding Joseph Angel Alvarez, 38, in the El Paso County Jail under a $2.5 million bond after a SWAT team and detectives arrested him outside his job at a Papa John's Pizza, they confirmed in a news release on Wednesday.
Alvarez’s arrest came in connection with the shooting of lawyers Georgette Kaufmann, 50, and Daniel Kaufmann, 47, El Paso Police Department officials confirmed. According to an obituary, Georgette worked in the Texas Attorney General’s Office as an assistant attorney general in the Child Support Division in El Paso for seven years.
On the evening of Nov. 14 of last year, officers responded to a shooting call and found Daniel Kaufmann suffering from gunshot wounds at a nearby residence. After a search of the area, police discovered the dead body of his wife.
According to court documents obtained by the El Paso Times, Alvarez said he was “executing and exterminating the pro-choice Jewish Satan worshippers” when he descended on the Kaufmanns’ home, ambushing Georgette Kaufmann before trying to enter the home and shoot her husband.
Alvarez allegedly targeted a group of four houses that included the Kaufmanns’ because of their proximity to a local park. Police said in an affidavit the suspect committed the crimes based on his belief that the four houses were involved in “satanic activities” associated with Memorial Park.
After the murder, police investigators said they uncovered a message that Alvarez had apparently penned to a U.S. Army email address describing extremist beliefs, that included photographs of houses near the park, and images of his victims’ driveway, the affidavit states, per KFOX.
Alvarez said in the email that Memorial Park was the location of a “ritualistic satanic ground to conduct abortions by the manner of magic,” the outlet reported. He also allegedly said in the email that he targeted the Kaufmanns’ house because he believed they had voted for President Joe Biden and had a Biden “flag and a doll of Trump hanging.” He also called pro-choice people the “Jewish Satanist Party,” the outlet reported.
Cops said that Alvarez also demanded in the email that people “stop all murder of babies,” the El Paso Times reported. Police noted that on the night of the alleged murder, another house on the targeted block had Democratic and LGBTQ signs on the front lawn, according to cellphone data collected by investigators.
Around 7:35 p.m. on the night of the attack, police said that Alvarez shot Georgette Kaufmann through a detached garage door as she returned home and then tried to open a door to the couple’s house.
According to police, Daniel Kaufmann heard sounds at the door and was allegedly shot by the suspect when he walked to the back door. Alvarez fled the scene, police said, and Daniel Kaufmann somehow managed to reach a neighbor’s home to dial 911.
Daniel Kaufmann told KFOX that he was shot at five times, and was struck in the head, the shoulder and on the wrist. The shooter missed twice, he said.
Responding officers later found him wounded at the neighbor’s house, police said. His wife’s dead body was found in the garage.
According to the El Paso Times, police also identified a Facebook page that allegedly belonged to Alvarez where he discussed being fired from an airport job. In the affidavit, police wrote that he had been fired after stalking a co-worker and confronting her as she got out of her car in similar fashion to “how Georgette Kaufmann was approached and murdered, exiting her vehicle and by the driver side door.”