HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – New details were released after a student was charged with manslaughter and handed over to youth services after the police claimed he shot another student at Bellaire High School.
The prosecutor assumes that the 16-year-old, who allegedly shot 19-year-old senior Cesar Cortes, did not want to harm his friend.
Sources report to ABC13 that the shooting was unintentional and the students were playing with the gun.
According to sources with knowledge of the case, three students went to a Bellaire High School camp on Tuesday afternoon because the alleged gunman wanted to show his gun to the other two teenagers.
A teenager then left the camp. Then he heard a shot.
Sources say the 16-year-old suspect carried Cortes out of the storage room before running away.
The teenager has already been charged with manslaughter. Youth cases are not public. The suspect’s earliest appearance could be Friday.
The Bellaire police are still investigating the shots.
The 16-year-old suspect was questioned for a few hours after his arrest, but declined to comment on what happened, the authorities said.
Several of the victim’s friends told ABC13 that Cortes was planning to serve his country and had already joined the army.
The suspect was arrested around 8 p.m. on Tuesday on Caversham Drive near Chimney Rock Road.
Harris’s attorney general, Kim Ogg, explained why a homicide charge was brought up during a press conference on Wednesday.
“The reason the complaint was filed for manslaughter, not murder, is that the act the youth committed was not intentional at the time, but was ruthless. The people knew each other.”
Ogg continued: “So this is not an accident, because it is an intended act to pull a trigger on a weapon, whether you know whether it is loaded or not, but it has, based on the evidence we have at the moment have not intended to do so kill his friend but he did. “
The weapon used was not found, according to the Bellaire police. Investigators said the suspect may have thrown it away after leaving high school campus.
In a press conference, Bellaire Police Lt. Greg Bartlett said the weapon was a semi-automatic pistol with 32 calibers.
WATCH: Bellaire PD Lieutenant answers questions about HS shooting
Bartlett said the suspect had brought the gun to school that morning. Investigators believe that several students saw the suspect with the gun before the shootout took place.
“When you see something, say something,” said Bartlett. “Unfortunately, children tend to be a little tense to protect other students.”
According to the authorities, there were approximately six other students in the room at the time of the shooting.
“Citizens in the (Bellaire High) School area should be careful and report any weapons found to the Bellaire police immediately,” police chief Byron Holloway said.
In pictures taken during the arrest, the suspect is accompanied in handcuffs to a police vehicle. Police say the student hid behind a grocery store before being arrested with a friend. The friend was also detained.
The Bellaire police used a drone to search.
They responded to the school shootout at around 4:00 p.m. Cortes was shot on campus and later pronounced dead.
Officials originally said that classes would resume on Wednesday, but the HISD later announced that classes were officially canceled.
HISD released the following statement:
“The Houston Independent School District is deeply saddened by the tragic death of one of our students. We express our deepest condolences to the student’s family and friends. This incident is being investigated by the Bellaire Police Department. The HISD is cooperating fully in the At this time of grief and loss, I would like to assure you that we will have grief and crisis counselors on campus tomorrow and as long as necessary to provide emotional support to our students and staff, patrols around the campus and additional administrative staff to ensure security to ensure the school. “
“A learning environment is the last place where young people should feel insecure and fear for their lives,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement. “But gun violence continues to disrupt schools and destroy families across the country. I would like to express my condolences to the young man’s relatives and all students, teachers and staff at Bellaire High School.”
Turner said he spoke to students who were on the mayor’s youth council during a meeting about the incident, and said: “As I told them, I will continue to work with elected federal and state officials, as well as with stakeholders and everyone who is are ready to pass laws to protect our children. “
Follow Miya Shay on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved.