HCSO investigating reports of shots fired at memorial service for teen slain at Spring High School
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Harris County Sheriff's Office and Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office deputies were called to Spring Baptist Church in the 1000 block of Spring Cypress Road around 8pm for reports of shots fired at the memorial service for 17-year-old Spring High School stabbing victim Josh Broussard.
Harris County Sheriff's Office officials confirm that at least one member of a rival gang showed up inside the church toward the end of the memorial service. Officials said their presence reportedly caused tension with many people there.
Deputies said Spring ISD police escorted one or more of those people outside, but a fight then broke out in the parking lot.
A Spring ISD police officer tells HCSO investigators that he heard as many as eight gunshots.
No one was hit, and no casings have been found yet, officials said.
The fight was reportedly broken up before law enforcement officials arrived. No one is in custody.
It was an upsetting way to end the remembrance for Broussard, which had a full house.
"Everybody started running back into the sanctuary, and they were hollering, "Somebody's got a gun out there,' and they were ducking by the pews. And it was just chaotic,'" one witness said. "After a beautiful service like that, you know, I couldn't understand it."
"They had nothing to do up there," a student attendee said. "None of their people was up here, and they're the ones that took Josh's life, so they had no belonging up there."
"A lot of people were leaving at the time and then, of course, they cleared the parking lot and made sure everybody got to their vehicles safe," HCSO Sgt. Milton Coker said. "But we haven't found who might have done any of the shooting or anything like that."
This investigation is ongoing.
COMMUNITY LEADERS CALL FOR CHANGE
Luis Alonzo Alfaro, 17, has been charged in the September 4 stabbing death of Broussard. It happened during a fight in the school cafeteria that police have described as likely gang-related.
The parents and the students of Spring ISD have faced a lot of fear and frustration since the deadly stabbing. After a tragic week, two groups joined forces Sunday in the hopes of relieving some of that fear.
Leaders from the African American and Latino communities gathered. They said they wanted to set tone for the return, addressing gang tension and racial tension issues that led to the deadly stabbing.
"We want to say to the students -- to the black students: the Latino students are not your enemies. To the Latino students: the black students are not your enemies," activist Deric Muhammad said. "There should be no rivalry in the morning when you are returning."
These community leaders say it will not be easy. They are asking for a meeting with the superintendent of Spring ISD. They say it will take change, not only in the school but in the community.
"I think there's a tragedy here that we have to address. Our kids have to know there is no return from death," Marta Diaz with LULAC said. "You can fix everything else, but death there is no return."
"Nowadays, it's the cool thing to do to be in a gang. And unfortunately, it's not the cool thing to do," SHS alumnus Tressa McLane said. "It's not worth losing your life or your friend's life over it."
EXTRA SECURITY AT SPRING HIGH SCHOOL
SHS students will return to school Monday morning for first time since last Wednesday's stabbing.
School officials say there will be extra security on hand Monday morning. Students will only be able to enter the building through two entrances -- the front main entrance and the back of the building.
Portable metal detectors will be at both doors. School personnel will also have hand-held wand detectors.
The school has said they will have crisis counselors on hand for students who may need them.
HIGH SCHOOL REACHES OUT TO PARENTS
Spring High School's principal is planning a series of meetings for parents to voice security concerns.
A message went out to parents and was posted on the district's website announcing six meetings starting Wednesday.
Parents can register on the school's website or by calling the high school. There is room for 75 people at each meeting.
The principal wrote in the message that the school will schedule more meetings if the demand is high enough.
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