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Friends remember teen shot, killed after gun accidentally goes off in car in west Harris County

Thursday, May 16, 2013

On Tuesday night, friends and family were shocked as they learned of the shooting that killed a Houston teenager. On Wednesday night, they gathered to honor his life and memory. But the memorial wasn't without some complications.

Friends were hoping to have the vigil at McFee Elementary, the place where 16-year-old Gregory Reese often played basketball, but they were forced to come up with another location.

Punctuated by short tributes, the vigil in memory of Reese was casual but impactful.

"I miss him. I miss him dearly," friend Conrad Miller said.

Hundreds of friends and family members packed the small grassy area just outside the 16-year-old's house in northwest Harris County. They brought candles and signs and some had regrets.

"Saw him like 30 minutes before. I could have stopped him. I could have told him to get out of the car but I didn't," friend Michael Baker said. "All I told him was 'I love you.' An hour later he was dead."

The Cypress Lakes High School junior was riding in this car with friends Tuesday night when a gun went off in the back seat and the bullet hit Reese, who was in the front seat. The teens drove him to Texas Children's Hospital in Katy, where he died.

Harris County sheriff's investigators believe the shooting was accidental.

Keavis Simmons says he wasn't with his normal group of friends.

"We told him, 'Man don't go with them, don't go with them,'" Simmons said.

This group of friends had hoped to have the vigil at the school where Reese often played basketball but waiting for them this evening were Cy-Fair ISD police officers and sheriff's deputies. When Eyewitness News asked authorities about the situation, they refused to comment.

The blockade was upsetting for an already grieving mother, Jaysmith-Davis.

"He never needed permission to play basketball but they need permission to go on the basketball court today," Davis said.

However, the turnout at her home helped to offset her anger.

"He will be missed, but the fact that I'm seeing you guys show up to say you're going to miss him -- that you are here means a lot," the mother told attendees.
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