HOUSTON — Houston police need the public’s help with finding the person responsible for killing a 12-year-old boy during an argument in Sunnyside.
The shooting happened at about 11:30 p.m. Monday at an apartment complex on Barberry Lane near Scott Street.
Police said the 12-year-old boy was walking back from the store with his friends when they got into an argument with a teenage male. During the argument, the teenager pulled out a gun and shot the boy multiple times before running away.
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
Why a 12-year-old boy was out so late, and what exactly led up to his shooting death are part of an investigation, but Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner said catching the suspect is the department’s primary focus right now.
“Our entire community should be upset and outraged that a 12-year-old kid, and I don’t have the why right now, and the why is not important. What’s important to me is the who. Who did it?” Finner said.
The chief said he’s spoken with the boy’s parents who are in shock and angry.
“Our entire community should be upset and outraged,” Finner said.
Police said they have leads on a potential suspect, but more information is needed to get him in custody. Finner encouraged the person responsible to turn himself in.
“My pledge and my ask to the community, get that information in because the quicker we can get this individual off the streets and in jail where he belongs, the better our community is,” Finner said.
The shooting may have been a targeted attack, according to Finner. It’s unknown if any surveillance video captured the shooting or suspect, but an investigation is ongoing.
The 12-year-old attended Houston ISD’s Pro-Vision Academy. The superintendent sent the following statement to parents and guardians:
It is with deep regret that we inform you about a recent loss to our school community. Late last night, September 4th , one of our middle school students was tragically shot and killed in a nearby Sunnyside neighborhood; the police are currently investigating this tragedy.
The death of one of our fellow student warriors is a significant impact on our entire community. This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for our entire school, especially our students. We are deeply saddened by the loss and will make every effort to help students, parents, and staff. Our crisis team has been mobilized to respond to this tragic event. Our crisis team is made up of professionals trained to provide support during difficult times such as this. We have counselors available for students who may need or want help surrounding this loss.
We expect a variety of reactions to this loss from our students, parents, and staff. Some of these reactions may be mild, others may be more intense. Parents should be aware of any unusual behavior or a change in the behavior. Signs may include difficulty or changes in sleeping, inability to concentrate, absentmindedness, irritability, thoughts about death or dying, isolation, withdrawal from normal activities and friends, guilt, fearfulness, and worries. In the days and weeks ahead, students may have questions and concerns relating to the death and will require continued support at home and at school as they work through their feelings and grief.
• Talk with your child about his/her feelings about the tragedy.
• Talk about what happened; give your child information he/she can understand.
• Reassure your child’s safety; you may need to repeat this reassurance often.
• Listen to and comfort your child often.
In addition to the school’s onsite support, there are many community and online resources to support students, parents, and staff. Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional resources. We extend our deepest sympathy to the family during this difficult time, and share our thoughts and prayers during this time of mourning.
Here’s the update provided Tuesday afternoon by HPD Chief Troy Finner:
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