HOUSTON — Manslaughter charges were given to the 16-year-old arrested in connection to the shooting death of another teen at Bellaire High School. Police said the charges, which were announced Wednesday, could be upgraded as the investigation continues.
The suspect is accused of killing a 19-year-old Bellaire High School student and running away before police arrived around 4 p.m. Tuesday. The Bellaire Police Department raced to the school after getting reports of a shooting at the campus from residents living in the area.
The suspect and a second person of interest were found within hours and taken into police custody around 7:30 p.m. It’s unclear whether the second person will face charges. The charged suspect has been transferred to the Harris County Juvenile Probation Center.
Meanwhile, investigators continue to search the surrounding neighborhood for the missing weapon. They’re asking residents if they might have scene the discarded weapon on their property or near their homes. If found, please contact police and use extreme caution.
HISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan made a statement Tuesday night saying their hearts go out to the student’s family and friends and that it is a tragic loss.
HISD’s original statement is as follows:
“The Houston Independent School District is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of one of our students. We offer our deepest sympathies to the student’s family and friends. This incident is being investigated by the Bellaire Police Department. HISD is fully cooperating in the investigation. In this time of sadness and loss, I want to assure you that we will have grief and crisis counselors available on campus tomorrow and as long as needed to offer our students and staff emotional support. We will also have extra officers on campus and patrols around the campus in addition to extra administrative personnel to ensure the school is safe and secure.”
At that point, school was scheduled to go on Wednesday as usual. Dr. Lathan briefly addressed the media and did not take any questions, which had one Bellaire High School parent very upset.
“We need to go home and hug our children and tell them that we are going to keep them safe and we need principals– we need the superintendent–to tell us what they’re going to do ensure that our children can come to school and be safe and the fact that they’re just like “Oh come back to school tomorrow, its going to be fine” This is not acceptable,” explained Jonasu Wagstaff.
Just after 8 p.m. Tuesday night, HISD announced that school is cancelled for Bellaire High School students on Wednesday. They did ask school staff to be there.
This is HISD’s updated statement:
“The Bellaire Police Department and HISD Police Department have confirmed that a suspect has been arrested in connection with the tragic death of a Bellaire High School student. HISD will cancel classes for students at Bellaire High School tomorrow, Wednesday, January 15. However, staff members are asked to report to campus. Bellaire High School students should report to school on Thursday, January 16.”
As of Wednesday, the investigation into the shooting continues and no motive for the shooting has been identified.