Houston, TX is learning there are two or more sides to every story following last week’s armed robbery that resulted in the shooting death of a 16-year-old.
Although the stories are conflicting, all sides agree four teenagers held up a Jack In The Box in Houston, putting a gun to the head of the cashier.
A specific task force had been tracking the teens following approximately ten similar armed robberies. But what happened the night of last week’s shooting is still being sorted out, since stories from the police, employees of the Jack In The Box, and the suspects conflict.
According to the police, when authorities responded to the armed robbery call, the teenagers shot at them first, leading the police to take defensive action. Officers shot back and fatally struck one of the suspects. Police later stated they could not definitively determine whether the teens had shot their weapons.
Local activist Quanell X has been an outspoken defendant of the teens and claims to have access to video that no one, including the sheriff, had seen.
Quanell X said video showed the boys throw down the weapons. He said restaurant employees told him the teens were moving to surrender.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the meeting was just a courtesy to the families of the slain or wounded suspects and that he did not share specific details of the case.
“We understand their perspective,” the sheriff said. “We spoke in generalities.”
However, Gonzalez did say he has not seen any evidence that the suspects did fire any shots –though it was too early to conclusively rule that out.
“It’s my understanding that the individuals involved did not fire weapons,” the sheriff said, emphasizing that it was far too early to be certain. He added that he has not personally seen surveillance video that Quanell X said showed the suspects throwing down their weapons.
Even the teens’ parents seem conflicted about the outcome.
“These guys were wrong for going into that store,” said Elvin May, the father of the 15-year-old. “We don’t condone that. Even my son, he was wrong.”
“You’ve got to give these kids a second chance,” May said. “You can’t just start determining, ‘I’m the judge. I’m going to kill you.’ It’s ridiculous.”
Of course, that would also most certainly include holding a gun to the head of a cashier and threatening to take that life, but I digress.
The family of one of the young men is now calling for a federal investigation of the shooting.
Stories like this should remind us how important it is for parents to teach gun safety and the gravity of carrying a gun as a proactive measure rather than crying for justice reactively.