Father says suspect shot and killed his 1-year-old son in SW Houston

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An infant was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon as his father was taking him for a walk outside his southwest Houston apartment.

The fatal shooting happened about 1:30 pm along the 5400 block of Braesvalley. Houston police said the father was taking his son, about 1 year old, for a walk when three men approached them.

One of them was armed with a pistol. “He began shooting at the father. The father turns and runs,” said Sgt. Mark Holbrook with the Houston police homicide division.

The boy – identified in a GoFundMe account as Messiah Justice Marshall – was struck by the gunfire.

Joshua Levy was returning home from work when the father ran up to his car.

“He was yelling, ‘Help me. Help me.’ I was kind of shocked. I didn’t know what was going on,” Levy said.

The father was holding his bleeding son in his arms. At first, Levy thought the child might have merely been injured in some sort of accident. 

Levy said he remembered seeing a Harris County constable minutes earlier at a Valero station down the street from the apartment complex. 

“I hoped he (the constable) was still there. I didn’t know where else to take him,” Levy said.

They raced down the street to the service station about a block away. The constable hadn’t left yet. 

The father got out, still carrying his son. The constable called for help after Levy told him what had happened.

“I saw him (the father) walking around with the baby – basically dead in his arms,” Levy said.

An ambulance was called, but the child died.

Levy said he lived in the same complex as the child’s father but didn’t know him. 

HPD investigators said the father told them he didn’t know the assailants. It wasn’t immediately clear whether they had targeted the man, police said.

“I don’t know at this time. Maybe, maybe not,” Holbrook said. Police did not have a detailed description of the gunman or the two men he was with at the time. They remain at large.

Police are continuing to canvass the neighborhood around the location where the child was shot for any clues into the fatal shooting.

While police investigated the gunfire, the nearby Pilgrim Lutheran School went on lockdown for part of the afternoon, according to an email sent to parents. The lockdown was lifted just after 3 p.m.

Less than a month earlier, another 1-year-old was shot in southwest Houston, near Beechnut and Renwick. The boy was hospitalized May 22 after a shot pierced his mother’s car, hitting the infant’s leg.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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