Good Samaritan murdered trying to rescue woman

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Good Samaritan murdered trying to rescue woman

By Craig Smith. CREATED Jan 2, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - We know now what was first described as a street fight was really a man's attempt to rescue a woman from a man who was beating her.
Now Patrick Balbastro, the man trying to help is dead.  So is Cindy Burnet, the woman he tried to rescue.  The Good Samaritan's girlfriend is hospitalized, and police want your help to find the killer.

As a car became a murder weapon. Julia Gaxiola saw a man drive over the victims.

"I see two people when he passed three times and he pushed the body with his car. And I said, Oh My God."
Now police say it was a matter of brutality, and bravery coming together before the dawn of New Year's Day.

Neighbors tell a consistent story.  What looks to be a Yellow Cab rolls up. A man and a woman get out. She seems very drunk. He is very abusive.

Patrick Balbastro and a woman drive up. Police say Balbastro called 911 then stepped out of the car, and stepped up to help Cindy Burnet. The man beating Burnet jumps into Balbastro's car and uses it to hit Balbastro, his girlfriend, and Cindy Burnet again and again. Balbastro and Burnet died.  Balbastro's girlfriend is hospitalized with injuries severe enough to threaten her life.

Police say descriptions of the killer are inconsistent but he's probably marked by a collision when the airbags deployed.

Tucson Police Sergeant Chris Widmer says airbags, "Can give you burns, sometimes to the face and my understanding is it's normally to the arms and then again any type of injuries from the collision he may have."
Police say if you think you've found the man responsible for the killings say nothing to him.  Quietly call 911 and let Tucson Police do the rest.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press