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2018-06-13 / Featured

Poth shooting leaves two dead

By Nannette Kilbey-Smith
Wilson County News


Officers from multiple law-enforcement agencies work June 10 at the scene of a shooting in the 400 block of Carrol Street in Poth, which left Justine Waclawczyk and Andrew Toscano dead, allegedly at the hands of Justine’s husband, John Waclawczyk. 
N. KILBEY-SMITH Officers from multiple law-enforcement agencies work June 10 at the scene of a shooting in the 400 block of Carrol Street in Poth, which left Justine Waclawczyk and Andrew Toscano dead, allegedly at the hands of Justine’s husband, John Waclawczyk. N. KILBEY-SMITH POTH — The community is somber and stunned as citizens try to comprehend a shooting in the early hours of Sunday morning. Two young people are dead, and a third is in the Wilson County Jail, charged with capital murder.

Just a few blocks from Poth City Hall and the city’s schools, law-enforcement personnel from a number of agencies worked steadily throughout Sunday to make sense of the events that unfolded in the little house in the 400 block of Carrol Street just after midnight that morning.

Poth police Chief Gerald Sanchez said his department was called out to a disturbance at the address about 12:30 a.m.

A man, later confirmed to be John Waclawczyk, a resident of the home, opened the door in response to the officer dispatched to the address.


Andrew Toscano posted this as his profile photo on Facebook. 
FACEBOOK Andrew Toscano posted this as his profile photo on Facebook. FACEBOOK While speaking with Waclawczyk, the officer noticed two people on the floor inside the residence, Sanchez said.

Determining they had been shot, an ambulance was sent; one of the two, identified as Andrew Toscano, in his mid-20s, was transported to Connally Memorial Medical Center in Floresville, where he was pronounced deceased.

John’s wife, Justine Hosseini Waclawczyk, 21, was pronounced dead at the scene; Wilson County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Sara Canady was called to the home.

Personnel from the Wilson and Karnes county sheriff’s offices, Department of Public Safety Crime Lab, Texas Rangers, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted the Poth Police Department throughout Sunday at the scene. A gun was recovered at the scene and John was taken into custody.


Justine and John Waclawczyk were married in November 2016. 
FACEBOOK Justine and John Waclawczyk were married in November 2016. FACEBOOK Few details have emerged in the aftermath.

John, 21, was magistrated Sunday by Canady. He is charged with capital murder of multiple persons, with bail set at $1 million.

As the news broke Sunday morning, the community responded in disbelief. Posts flooded social media, with friends and classmates expressing shock and remembering those involved with affection.

Among those grieving is Justine’s friend, Erynne Johnson. Justine was one of the first to befriend Erynne, when she first moved to Floresville. Both ran track for the Jaguars at Floresville High School.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better friend,” Erynne told the Wilson County News. “She was always so welcoming with open arms, no matter who you were or what kind of past you had.”


Justine Hosseini Waclawczyk, Floresville High School class of 2015 Justine Hosseini Waclawczyk, Floresville High School class of 2015 She remembers Justine as “outgoing and spunky” with “a fire in her soul for God” who saw the good in everyone. This was despite not having the easiest life when she was growing up, according to Erynne.

Canady knew Justine, who had worked in her justice of the peace office in Poth as part of the Texas Workforce Solutions Youth Employment program as a high school student.

“She was very polite and eager to learn,” the judge recalled. “She seemed to have a bright future, someone who could do well in life.”

Justine graduated in 2015 from Floresville High School, and Erynne, a year later. Graduation didn’t diminish their friendship. The two skipped work one day so Erynne could help her friend find a wedding dress. Justine, she said, “wanted to look like a princess the day she got married.”


Andrew Toscano, Floresville High School class of 2012 Andrew Toscano, Floresville High School class of 2012 John, a Poth High School alumnus, and Justine wed in November 2016. Photos show them as a happy couple, just setting out in life.

“She was happy with John and she loved him more than anything,” Erynne recalled.

Despite that, something was amiss in the house on Carrol Street in Poth.

Ray De La Fuentes, who woke in the early hours of Sunday morning to lights flashing outside his parents’ home on Carrol Street, said the police have been to the Waclawczyk home “a lot.”

His family and other neighbors are shocked, Ray said.

“I’ve lived here all my life, and I’ve never seen anything like this; it’s always been quiet,” he mused. “This is like something you expect to happen other places, or in the movies. Not here.”


John Waclawczyk, Poth High School class of 2015 John Waclawczyk, Poth High School class of 2015 Another neighbor — who asked not to be identified — was out mowing the lawn Sunday afternoon as officers cataloged the crime scene Sunday. He said the neighbors “have known what’s going on in that house for a long time.”

Justine’s mother, Margaret Hosseini- Browder, struggled with Sunday’s news.

“This was my child,” she posted to the Wilson County News story online. “Prayers please for our family while we have to take this incredibly heartbreaking journey.”

Social media posts reflect the sorrow and sadness as friends and family try to comprehend the news. Comments such as “RIP to two wonderful people” and “I have seen all of these young people at Sonic and they were all polite and well mannered” abound.

The investigation continues into what led to the deaths of Andrew Toscano — a 2012 Floresville graduate — and Justine Waclawczyk, allegedly at the hands of her husband.

“We’ll be talking to a lot of people,” Sanchez said Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a shame,” he added. “We’re a tight-knit community. Everybody knows everybody. We look out for each other.

“People are hurting,” the chief said. “To see somebody you know is involved in this is pretty tragic.”

Before leaving for a training commitment outside the area, he offered the community reassurance.

“This is not a bad city. We hope never to see this again.”

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