Kristin Smart’s dad, sheriff vow quest for justice isn’t over with Paul Flores murder conviction By Rachel Smolicans
Sniper Paul “Paulie Walks” Flores was shot and killed at a traffic stop in December 2013 on Highway 80. His father, the sheriff, called it a “bloodstain” on an otherwise pristine highway. Now, nearly nine years after Paulie’s death, his brother, and a private investigator looking into his death, believe they may have finally got their man.
By Rachel Smolicans
“It’s a huge deal,” said Paul Flores’ brother, Anthony Flores, when we caught up with him while he was on a fishing trip in Big Lake State Park. Anthony has long been the brains behind the Flores’ operation, running the family business and becoming sheriff as if he were their employee. He’s the man in the office when deputies came to Flores’ house looking for Paulie, and the one they turned to when the family became increasingly frustrated with their son’s disappearance. “It’s something we’ve held onto.”
But it took the intervention of the state attorney’s office to finally deliver justice. It took a year and a half of investigative work to finally nail Paulie Flores, shot by an angry motorist in the back as he tried to flee from a traffic stop. Since then, Anthony Flores has been a regular force of the community, trying to solve the case with his son’s killer.
There is only so much Anthony Flores can do to try to bring closure to his family, and it appears his search for that will continue as long as he can. The state attorney’s office is closing in on the killers, though they say they’re not looking for anyone, but rather looking to build a case. But Anthony Flores, the man behind a family who could be considered one of the biggest political dynasties in the country, and a man who has dedicated himself to finding justice for his son, says, “Justice has been served.”
He was also the man who turned a blind eye to the fact that his law enforcement career had been cut short, and that he had even failed to find Paulie after he found him dead on a highway. The sheriff had even ordered deputies to ignore the family’s pleas that they look for Paulie.