A Cadillac dealer in Houston was shot and killed outside his home Thursday night, May 7, Houston police said.
Police responded to reports of gunshots near the home of Joe Stewart, 54, and found him dead in his garage when they arrived at the scene, police said.
Stewart, originally from Detroit, worked with “Cadillac King” Don Massey early in his retail career, according to the Houston Chronicle, which reported the shooting last week. He eventually became a general manager for Massey and ran the Detroit flagship location along with stores in Lone Tree, Colo., and Downey, Calif., the newspaper said.
He bought his Cadillac dealership from Massey in 2002 and re-named it Stewart Cadillac, the newspaper said.
“We at Cadillac send our sincerest condolences to the Stewart family, following this terrible loss,” Jim Bunnell, Cadillac’s vice president of sales and service, said in an e-mailed statement. “Joe spent his entire career serving Cadillac customers with excellence, and over the past 13 years built a superb franchise and team at Stewart Cadillac in Houston. Joe Stewart was simply a great guy. He will be sorely missed.”
When Stewart bought the Houston Cadillac dealership from Massey in 2002, the dealership was “not one of the jewels of the Massey group,” said Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell.
“But with Joe leading the way they became very successful,” he said. “He was the kind of guy who worked all day -- first guy in, last guy out.”
Stewart’s death came almost two weeks after he was approached in his driveway by three men, two carrying guns and one carrying a Taser. Stewart was held at gunpoint but was able to escape when the gunmen got into a verbal argument. The Houston Police Department is investigating whether the two incidents are linked, but there is no evidence to support a connection at this time, a spokesperson said.
A statement on the Stewart Cadillac website said the dealership will not offer any comment regarding the incident as the investigation is ongoing.
“This tragic incident has already impacted so many, and we are truly thankful and appreciative of all our community’s caring support during our time of loss,” the company said. “We fully support the Houston Police Department (HPD) as they pursue this ongoing investigation.”
Stewart is survived by his ex-wife and former business partner, Bridget Stewart, and his mother, father and three brothers.
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