HOUSTON - Community activist Quanell X is joining the effort to catch the killer of 17-year-old Javier Flores, who was gunned down in February while trying to protect his mother at a Subway sandwich shop.
"I want to make an appeal to one of the young men that came in and robbed this Subway," Quanell announced at a press conference Monday in front of the Subway location. "You didn't shoot anybody. Yes, you were part of the crime, but you didn't shoot anybody. You are the one that we really want to hear from!"
Quanell's strong words were directed at the alleged trigger man's accomplices in the crime that ended the Chavez High School teen's life.
"This young man wasn't robbing nobody, he wasn't stealing, he wasn't selling drugs," Quanell added. "He was a high school student working at a sandwich shop, and you don't kill a child in front of his own mother."
"He has his whole life ahead of him, and ya'll just came in and took it away from us," Javier's mother, Hilda Vasquez, said. "Just turn yourselves in because I don't want ya'll to hurt nobody else."
So, I'm calling on those brothers in the hood-- send a message to the Latino-Hispanic community that there is no safe place for these type of brothers to live among us, and we help cover their crimes," Quanell declared.
Quanell and other leaders are adding $2,000 to the $40,000 Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Flores' killers.
So far, police have little clues to go on besides a sketch of the alleged shooter, and information that the killers fled the Subway in a gold-colored four-door sedan.
"Turn yourself in the same way you came and shoot my son," Javier's dad, Carlos Vasquez, demanded. "Be man enough and say it, 'I killed your son.' I want you to feel what I felt right now."
Finding the killer of Javier Flores rests on someone coming forward at this point.
Quanell hopes the killer's partner in crime will be that person.
"Come forward and tell us who you are...and tell us the truth of what happened," the activist insisted. "Do it now because if they catch you-- and you don't tell the truth before they catch you -- you're charged with the same crime."