Widow of man killed in apartment complex shooting will return to California
Jason and Elizabeth Endres moved to Oklahoma City from southern California nearly three years ago. This month, she'll be moving back a widow.
Jason Endres, 31, was hit by a blast from a 12-gauge shotgun when he attempted to intervene in a home invasion in the couple's apartment complex. He held on for two days before succumbing to his wounds.
"He fought, but they said he had a very bad brain injury, and if he did open his eyes, he could never leave the hospital," wife Elizabeth Endres, 27, said. "They unhooked him from the ventilators and he passed after three hours of being unhooked. He died listening to System of a Down's 'Aerials,' his favorite song."
The couple were asleep in bed about 8:30 a.m. Dec. 27 at Raindance Apartments, 2201 NW 122 when the dogs woke them up. The couple heard a commotion in a downstairs apartment, and Jason Endres went to help.
In the end, a 17-year-old boy in the lower apartment was pistol-whipped, and Elizabeth Endres was dressing her husband's gunshot wound with a towel as paramedics arrived.
"I heard him yelling, and I heard the other guy yelling. I hear a pop, and the next thing I smelled was gunpowder," Elizabeth Endres said. "My husband didn't die a bystander. He died a hero."
The couple met at an Anaheim Angels baseball game when she was 12 years old. A decade later, they were a couple. Last year, they married.
"Jason had a hard life. He was dealt with the wrong cards from the get-go, but he never let it stop him," she said.
Beneath his rough exterior, he was a warm, sweet man who'd do anything to help someone in need. Having been homeless at one point in their relationship, Jason Endres liked to help when he could, she said.
He promised his wife a better life if they moved from Riverside County to Oklahoma City. The couple landed in Oklahoma in March 2015.
Jason Endres was a cook by trade, and recently started work at The Cheesecake Factory. In previous stints, he served meals to Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson and Michael Jackson's father over the years, she said.
"He would always brag that he got a hundred-dollar tip from Reba," Elizabeth Endres said.
When he wasn't cooking, he played video games, especially the Call of Duty series. He boasted of having a relative involved in Operation Valkyrie, a failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler.
"He was happy to have a family member who tried to blow up Hitler. We both have family who served in World War II," she said.
After a private memorial in Oklahoma, Elizabeth Endres will head west on her own for another private service in California.
Before she goes, she is trying to find a new home for King Boo, the couple's pug-chihuahua mix. He's a 3-year-old unfixed male, and she can't take him with her.
"I'm heading back before the end of the month. I just can't be here anymore," Elizabeth Endres said.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for memorial expenses for Jason Endres. It can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/jason-endres-memorial-fund.
The man accused of shooting her husband, Lorenzo Eastland, 25, remained jailed in Oklahoma County. The assault with a deadly weapon complaint against him is expected to be amended to murder, officer Megan Morgan said.
One suspect in the shooting remains at large. Anyone with information is asked to call the homicide tip line at 297-1200.