Harris County officials have declined to press charges after someone shot at a car occupied by three Black college students nearly a dozen times as they were searching for parking in a residential community for a party.
On July 28, county deputies were called to a neighborhood in Spring, Texas after someone made a noise complaint about a party at one of the houses.
When units arrived, they were flagged down by Tavares White who told them someone opened fire on his car. White said he thought the sounds around his car at the time of the shooting were from a burst tire before he spotted someone standing under a light pole pointing a gun at his car and firing.
White didn’t get a good look at the suspect. However, he told deputies the person was wearing a hat, shorts, and pants.
White and his family believe that a homeowner in the community who was frustrated with the constant parties and cars frequently parked around his home was behind the shooting.
Tavares’ father, Carlton White Jr., said he believed the gunman was shooting to kill.
“This isn’t just, ‘I am going to shoot and scare,'” White told ABC13 Houston. “It’s, ‘I want to kill these guys. I want to make sure these guys never come back to his neighborhood again. I want to make sure these guys never breathe another breath.'”
A neighbor recounted issues she had with this same homeowner who community members believe was the one who opened fire. Neither deputies nor news outlets have released his identity since he wasn’t arrested.
“I was young — probably 14, and I was with my cousin when he pulled a gun on us just because we were popping fireworks,” the neighbor said.
However, deputies interviewed the homeowner in question who showed them a gun with a caliber that didn’t match the shell casings outside. The homeowner said he was sleeping and hadn’t used his gun in years. The DA’s Office refused to press charges because White could not positively identify the shooter.
Community activists Quanell X and Dr. Candice Matthews stood with the family, denouncing this targeted, reckless act of violence. They shared their disappointment with the fact that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office made the decision not to file charges.
“You want us to believe that shell casings are on the ground in front of the house, a young man saying he is the one who shot at me, but you don’t test his hands for gun residue?” Quanell said.