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Friends Of Slain Austin Man: 'He Just Didn't Deserve It'

By Quinn Ford | October 29, 2013 7:17am
 Gregory Daniel, 48, was found shot to death in his apartment, officials said. (File photo)
Gregory Daniel, 48, was found shot to death in his apartment, officials said. (File photo)
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AUSTIN — Neighbors said each morning, they would see Gregory Daniel hustle out of his Austin apartment to catch a bus to the Green Line to his job downtown.

They said the 48-year-old dressed to impress, too. He worked in the suit department at the Ralph Lauren store on Michigan Avenue.

But Monday morning, Daniel did not make it to work. After phone calls went unreturned, a close friend went to check on Daniel and found him dead inside his apartment.

Police said Daniel, who lived in the 5300 block of West Adams Street, was found about 9:45 p.m. Monday. He had been shot twice, in his head and back, said Officer Hector Alfaro, a police spokesman.

Aaron Newsom, Daniel's friend and landlord, said the last time anyone heard from Daniel was about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Although there were people in the building at the time, no one had reported hearing anything, Newsom said. Authorities said there was no sign of a struggle.

"It was definitely somebody he knew because there was no break-in," Newsom said. "There was no forced entry."

Ted Moore, a close friend of Daniel, said the 48-year-old would frequently welcome people into his home.

"He just had a big heart," Moore said. "He would give you anything. He was the type of guy, he'd give you his last dollar in his pocket."

Moore said he and others had urged Daniel to move out of Austin, which has seen 25 murders so far this year, making it one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city, but Daniel said he was saving up to buy a condo in a nicer area of the city.

"He was a great guy," Moore said. "He definitely didn't deserve this. It's crazy."

Moore said Daniel did not have any kids of his own but was godfather to Moore's daughter. He said was a good friend who was "always there."

Newsom echoed that, saying Daniel was "warm" and "open-hearted" to everybody in the building. Newsom said Daniel had been a tenant since 1998 and helped Newsom get through the loss of his wife and his mother.

"He grieved with me during those times," Newsom said. "He's been like a blood-relative to me."

Newsom, who lives above Daniel, said everyone in the tight-knit building is still in shock at Daniel's death.

"It's a tragic loss," he said. "We're all still shaken up about it."

No one was in custody in connection with the murder as of Tuesday, police said.