Atascocita murder suspect turns himself in; victim was activist, pillar in community

Mario Williams (left) is accused of shooting and killing his boyfriend, Devon Wade (right), during an argument at the victim’s home. (Source: HCSO/Facebook)

ATASCOCITA, Texas — A murder suspect has turned himself in after the suspect allegedly shot his romantic partner during an argument at the victim’s home in Atascocita over the weekend.

Devon Wade, 28, was reportedly shot in the head late Sunday night at his home on Crestline Road. Wade was a doctoral candidate at the University of Columbia, an activist for youth and a pillar in the Atascocita community.

In probable cause court, prosecutors identified the victim’s killer and boyfriend as Mario Jarrell Williams, 29.

Investigators with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said Williams was asked to leave the victim’s home multiple times before being escorted out. The victim allegedly left, but then returned a second time.

Williams claims he was trying to leave again, but the victim wouldn’t let him. Wade allegedly punched the suspect in the face and then chased him downstairs. Wade allegedly blocked the front door, but the suspect was able to get through when Williams claims the victim lunged at him.

That’s when Williams shot Wade, prosecutors said.

The victim’s twin brother was awakened by the sound of two gunshots, according to prosecutors.

“He immediately looked at his security system, and saw a male that matched the physical description of a male friend of his brother, who he knows by name and sight to be Mario Williams,” a prosecutor said in court Tuesday morning.

When the brother came to the room, officials said he found Wade on the floor bleeding.

The suspect initially left the crime scene, but later turned himself in. Williams told police he came to the house to retrieve a handgun that was in Wade’s bedroom, according to prosecutors.

Williams is being held on a $100,000 bond.

According to the Columbia University website, Wade was an LSU graduate and Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow. His collection of research focused on urban sociology, crime and deviance, social mobility and racial and ethnic inequality.

Wade had traveled across the country, delivering motivational speeches and keynote addresses at prisons, as well as talking about the effects of parental incarceration at various conferences. He worked with the non-profit organization No More Victims in Houston and other groups in New York that helped children living in low-income area.

He was a recipient of multiple prestigious awards including the Truman Scholarship, the Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Fellowship.