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El Paso veteran saluted by family as ‘hero’ after he died trying to shield wife from being run over

EL PASO, Texas -- The family of a military veteran who was crushed to death by a car outside a south-central El Paso bar while reportedly trying to shield his wife from being run over is speaking out about what police are calling his "intentional" death.

"You were my Batman," says the sister of 33-year-old Adrian Linton, calling her brother's actions to save his wife's life heroic.

Authorities say Linton and his wife, 35-year-old Ceclia Chavez, were intentionally struck by the driver of a Ford Mustang convertible outside Adrian’s Bar at 300 Luna Street in the early morning hours of May 15.

Both were rushed to University Medical Center where Linton died from his injuries, while Chavez remains hospitalized.

Investigators contend the Mustang's driver, Donovan Paul Byers, fled the scene after striking the couple; he was later arrested on murder and aggravated assault charges.

According to a police arrest affidavit, Byers admitted to detectives that upon leaving the bar he put his Mustang into reverse after revving up the engine, jumped a curb and struck an outside wall of the bar; this all came after a confrontation between two groups of people.

But Byers also claimed that he did not know had he struck anyone with his car during the incident, police said.

"This world is an evil place and all through my life you protected me from it. I was convinced that you were invincible. I am still convinced you are. You are my superhero. You were my Batman," Adrian's sister, Sirena Linton, wrote in a social media tribute to her brother - who was also an Iraqi war veteran.

Sirena Linton concluded her tribute post with the numbers 444. She told ABC-7 that's always been her family's code to say someone is watching out over them, and she believes her brother Adrian is now the family's new guardian angel.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family pay for Adrian Linton's funeral and burial expenses. You can click here if you wish to donate.

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Wil Herren

Wil Herren is a former ABC-7 news and sports reporter.


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