Texas dad's TikTok videos helped lead police to son's suspected killer: 'It paid off' (2024)

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Texas dad's TikTok videos helped lead to arrest in son's murder case

A Texas father says his TikTok videos helped lead Fort Worth Police to his 19-year-old son's suspected murderer.

A Texas father says his TikTok videos helped lead Fort Worth Police to his 19-year-old son's suspected murderer.

Luis Carlos Laguna Sr.'s son, Louis Carlos "Carlos" Laguna Jr., was fatally shot in the head while leaving a ranch party and concert in November 2023. Earlier this month, Fort Worth Police arrested and charged Martin Ramirez-Lopez, 20, in Carlos' murder.

"He was a good kid. And I know a lot of parents say that their kids were the best, but he truly was a good kid," Laguna Sr. told Fox News Digital, recalling that his son would dance "at the drop of a hat, no matter what kind of music was playing, or even if no music was playing."

He had recently graduated from high school and was working on getting his associate's degree at Tarrant County College. From there, he had plans to follow in his father's footsteps and join the Navy and eventually become either a SWAT officer or a welder, Laguna said.

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But those plans were cut short on Nov. 18.

"My son and his two friends were leaving this ranch party in North Fort Worth. When they were leaving, they got into an argument with another group of individuals, both male and females. And it was strictly verbal, just arguing back and forth," Laguna said. "There was no pushing, there was no punching — nothing like that. Nothing physical. The two groups separated. My son went on his way with his friends. They got in his truck. As the truck was leaving, this individual shot through the back of the truck and hit my son."

Texas dad's TikTok videos helped lead police to son's suspected killer: 'It paid off' (3)

Carlos Laguna Jr. had graduated from high school and was working on getting his associate's degree at Tarrant County College. (Luis Carlos Laguna Sr.)

His friends tried to render aid until paramedics showed up but could not revive him, Laguna said.

In the early morning hours of Nov. 18, Carlos' best friend awoke Luis and Lourdes Laguna by ringing on their doorbell and informing them there had been a "shooting" and their son was in the hospital.

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Laguna said he and his wife are thankful Carlos' friend informed them their son was hospitalized because they never would have known otherwise, and he might have "passed away alone in that hospital without his family around."

Texas dad's TikTok videos helped lead police to son's suspected killer: 'It paid off' (4)

Carlos Laguna Jr. was fatally shot in the head while leaving a ranch concert on Nov. 18, 2023. (Luis Carlos Laguna Sr.)

"I guess my thinking was … did he get shot in the arm or a shot in the leg or the back or what? Never, never did I imagine that he would have been shot in the head," Laguna said while fighting back tears.

They got to say goodbye to Carlos in his final moments while he was on life support in the hospital.

Texas dad's TikTok videos helped lead police to son's suspected killer: 'It paid off' (5)

Carlos' family got to say goodbye to him while he was on life support for a brief period after he was shot in the head. (Luis Carlos Laguna Sr.)

The next day, a detective with the Fort Worth Police Department told the Laguna family they were investigating Carlos' murder, "but it might be a while" before they heard anything because it happened in a remote area with no cameras, Laguna recalled.

Weeks went by without answers, and weeks turned into months. While Laguna trusted the detective handling his son's case, he wanted to help spread word of his son's murder so that anyone with information would come forward to police. That's when the grieving father turned to TikTok and started sharing videos about his son and asking potential witnesses to share what they knew with authorities, as FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth first reported.

Some of Carlos' friends had learned of the 19-year-old's murder through social media, so Laguna figured his peers with information might be more willing to come forward if they saw Laguna pleading for answers on those same platforms.

"A lot of people were saying, ‘You should do fliers. You put up posters, get billboards, march downtown.’ But deep inside, I felt that the only way to do that — to really reach these kids that were there — would [be] the same way that they found out about the party … through either TikTok or Instagram," he said. "And so that's when I started taking the videos to TikTok and showing videos of my son and how beautiful of a person he was. And I wanted people to be able to relate to him, to see that he truly didn't deserve this."

"I wanted people to be able to relate to him, to see that he truly didn't deserve this."

— Luis Carlos Laguna Sr.

Five months after Carlos was shot, Laguna's plan worked.

Texas dad's TikTok videos helped lead police to son's suspected killer: 'It paid off' (6)

Luis Carlos Laguna Sr. remembered his son as a "good kid" who loved to dance. (Luis Carlos Laguna Sr.)

The detective overseeing Carlos' case told Laguna someone saw his TikTok videos and went to police with the information they needed to arrest Ramirez-Lopez, who is now being held on $500,000 bond.

Laguna said making the videos wasn't always easy because it required him to constantly revisit old videos and photos of his son, bringing back good memories, but with them, a painful reminder that the 19-year-old was no longer with him.

Texas dad's TikTok videos helped lead police to son's suspected killer: 'It paid off' (7)

The detective overseeing Carlos' case told Laguna that someone saw his TikTok videos and went to police with the information they needed to arrest Ramirez-Lopez, who is now being held on $500,000 bond. (Tarrant County Jail)

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"It paid off, big time," Laguna said. "This guy's in jail. I hope he never comes out of there again. And … he can never do this to anybody else."

Lourdes Laguna said the arrest has brought her family "some peace," but it doesn't bring her son "back."

"Another family's going to have to suffer. … They're losing their son. We lost ours," she said of the suspect.

Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips toaudrey.conklin@fox.com or on Twitter at @audpants.

Texas dad's TikTok videos helped lead police to son's suspected killer: 'It paid off' (2024)
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