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Veit’s son was a classmate of the father’s at Shiner High School in a graduating class of about two dozen. Veit, 48, said the young father was never known to be in trouble.
"Just like a regular kid, went to dances, drank beer like the rest of the kids around here," Veit said.
Shiner, a town of about 2,000 people about 80 miles east of San Antonio, revolves around the Spoetzl Brewery that makes Shiner, one of the nation’s best-selling independent beers. Even gas stations here sell it on tap.
Flores’ death is only the sixth homicide the Lavaca County Sheriff’s Office has investigated in the last eight years. Shiner residents boast their squeaky-clean image on a highway welcome sign: "The Cleanest Little City in Texas."
At Werner’s Restaurant, customer Gail Allen said she didn’t want to speak for the whole town, though her comments echoed what others said.
"The father has gone through enough," said Allen, 59, who has nine grandchildren. "The little girl is going to be traumatized for life, and the father, too, for what happened. He was protecting his family. Any parent would do that."
Associated Press writer Juan A. Lozano in Houston contributed to this report.
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