An Australian man has been killed in Texas in a home invasion.
Brenton Estorffe, 29, was sleeping at his home near Houston with an American wife and two small children when two male intruders broke into the property through the back door.
When Estorffe confronted them, they shot him dead and fled the scene, local authorities said.
The incident occurred right after midnight on Wednesday local time. At 12.03 am the police received a 911 call to report the shooting at home.
According to local media reports, a neighbor heard gunfire and ran to try and resuscitate Estorffe, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The police said there was no reason to believe that the young father knew of the intruders. Nothing was stolen.
"This is sad. Sad. We have a homeowner in Fort Bend County who is no longer with us – and father of two small children. Break your heart," Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls told local media.
"We're just trying to gather as much information as possible to find out who can do this."
Seven News reported that Mr. Estorffe was awakened by the sound of glass breaking and getting out of bed to investigate, that's when he confronted the intruders who shot him.
The suspects are still on the run. Detectives followed up on surveillance camera footage and reports of cars speeding up from the scene.
"We do have people who say they saw a car parked nearby and then after the shot the car drove," Sheriff Nehls said.
Neighbor Kimberly Patel recently met the Estorffe family for the first time.
"I can't even imagine what is happening to my wife now," Ms Patel told the local KHOU 11 station.
He said serious crimes in the area had never occurred.
"We left our doors unlocked because we felt this was a quiet environment," Ms Patel said. "So, surprisingly enough, to be honest."
Other Estorffes neighbors who did not give names revealed their surprise.
"I've heard of several burglaries around public areas, but it's not like murder."
Based on AustraliaMr Estorffe is from Mooloolaba on the Queensland Sunshine Coast. He left Australia to study in America, attending Southern Virginia University from 2011-2014 where he played green field as an aspiring NFL player.
In 2015 he married and moved to Texas to settle in Katy, a city 30 minutes west of Houston. He has worked for the Enterprise car rental company.
Those who knew Estorffe expressed surprise at his death on social media.
"He is a good man. "My son and Brenton were roommates at UT after graduating from SVU," wrote a Facebook user.
"They have recently reconnected. So many people are heartbroken. "
A Twitter user tweeted at Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office:
"My husband went to school with this young man in Australia. I hope you catch the people who do this. Gun violence in this country needs to be stopped. "
His children are three and one.
More will come.