HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Charges were dropped late Thursday against one of two brothers accused of unloading a barrage of gunfire at a northeast Harris County apartment complex, killing two residents and critically injuring four others.
Jeremy Jones, 28, was initially charged with capital murder.
However, investigators are now saying he was falsely accused after being mistakenly identified. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has not released Jeremy Jones, but the reason has yet to be shared.
His brother Harvey Jones, 34, is still charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Dressed in matching orange jumpsuits, the brothers stood side-by-side in probable cause court as a courtroom representative read the description of the mayhem that unfolded Sunday at the Haverstock Hill Apartments in the 5900 block of Aldine Bender.
According to investigators, a group of men were sitting on a staircase in front of building No. 6 around 6:30 p.m.
A woman who lived in an upstairs unit began to complain, and an argument ensued. The complaining resident told the group that she was a police officer, investigators said.
Harvey Jones, a man falsely identified as Jeremy Jones and a woman with bleach-blonde hair drove up in a white car a few minutes after the argument, officers said.
Deputies said Harvey Jones and the alleged gunman jumped out of the vehicle and approached the people sitting on the stairs. One of the men was armed a semi-automatic rifle, possibly an AR-15, and another argument broke out.
Witnesses said, at first, it appeared as though Harvey Jones was placing the weapon back into the trunk, but then the man with him suddenly grabbed it and opened fire.
Witnesses said the alleged gunman was not shooting randomly into the air, he was actually tracking each person he aimed at, striking six people multiple times. The men then fled the scene.
Christopher Beatty was shot in the leg and lower back. He was rushed to LBJ Hospital, where he died.
Gary Rusher, 31, was shot in the head and the leg and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two more men and two women were also shot and taken to various hospitals in critical condition. Two of the victims were Rusher’s siblings; his brother Isaiah, and his sister, Brandy Rusher, a former contestant on Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model.
Brandy Rusher was on Season 4 of ANTM and became known for her street bravado, striking features, blazing red hair and gap teeth. She also had a slight lisp. It was highlighted on the show that she was from Houston’s underserved community and was fighting to change her life.
That proved to be somewhat hard as she was criticized for what judges perceived to be a negative attitude.
ANTM judge and celebrity photographer Nigel Barker described Brandy Rusher as “death warmed up.”
Controversial judge and supermodel Janice Dickinson said, “she is so angry, but she is just so damn beautiful in the face.”
Even though the 19-year-old aspiring model managed to strike several memorable poses, Banks said they did not feel she could fully transform her “attitude with a capital A” in 12 short weeks and sent her back to H-Town.
Brandy Rusher’s departure from ANTM was an emotional one, and she said she left with no regrets and felt she was, simply, misunderstood.
Brandy Rusher today is a hairstylist who studied fashion at Houston Community College, according to her Facebook page. She still has the same stunning features at age 32 that she had when appearing on the popular show.
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Fans have flooded her social media pages with well wishes and a gofundme account has been set up for the Rusher family.
As for the Jones brothers, warrants were issued for their arrests after they were both identified from a photo lineup. They remained on the run for several days before surrendering to authorities on Wednesday.
Jeremy Jones’ criminal history include charges for unauthorized use of a vehicle, theft and evading arrest.
Harvey Jones has a bit more added to his rap sheet, with past charges including assault of a family member, driving with a suspended license, unauthorized use of a vehicle, unlawful carrying of a weapon, trespassing, terroristic threat and disorderly conduct.
Bond has been denied for Harvey Jones.
The woman who was with the men at the time of the shooting has been identified as a Haverstock Hill resident, but no further information about her has been released. Haverstock Hill is considered one of the most crime-ridden apartments in the Houston area. The apartments are known for violence and several fight videos among residents can be found on Youtube.
Management for the apartment community released the following statement:
“Equality Community Housing extends its sincerest appreciation to law enforcement for making the apprehension of the two suspects top priority and for working with us to help our Haverstock Hill family. The arrests bring us one step closer to recovering and moving forward from this tragic incident. We will continue to proactively address community safety by collaborating with the Harris County District Attorney’s office and local elected officials to engage in solutions-centered conversations. We will also host residents-driven meetings and programming to further aid our efforts in making Haverstock Hill a safe environment for our community,” Rodney Waites, Engagement Manager.
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