Arrests made in fatal Cypress house party shooting
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Two men are in custody in connection to Saturday night's deadly house party in the Cypress area of northwest Harris County, according to officials.
The shooting happened just before 11pm Saturday at a home in the 7300 block of Enchanted Creek Drive near FM 529. Investigators have told us 10 shots were fired at this party.
Willie Young, 21, and Randy Stewart, 18, were arrested Monday morning. Young is charged with deadly conduct while Stewart is charged with aggravated assault. (Since this story was published, charged against Willie Young were dropped.)
Stewart didn't say much as a Harris County investigator led him handcuffed through a crowd of cameras.
"Rest in peace Queric," he said.
Queric Richardson, 17, and Arielle Shepherd, 17, died in the shooting. Richardson's 16-year-old brother, Kenneth Guidry, was also shot while trying to save his brother, but survived.
"I just don't want anyone to push things under the rug thinking he (my son) was a bad person and bad people deserve bad things," said Richardson's father, Lawrence Guidry. "My son was a good person. He was my best friend."
"There was so much talent and potential in her. I knew she would make it big, make it in modeling. She was gorgeous. its just not -- a parent didn't think they would lose their child, ever imagine having to bury your child; its the opposite," Arielle's mother, Lorenza Shepherd, said.
Katy ISD confirms both slain teens attended Morton Ranch High School in Katy.
According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, nearly 100 people were at the Cypress area house around 11pm on Saturday night when a shooter opened fire in the crowd. All of the people in attendance were either young adults or teens and they were there celebrating the 18th birthday of Mariah Boulden, who lives at the home.
Harris County homicide detectives haven't said whether Stewart or Young were friends of the birthday girl or other party-goers. But Boulden did tell us both refused to be patted down by a bouncer at the entry.
"They went through her gate, they didn't come thru the front door. They went through her gate to get in," said the party's host, Mariah Boulden.
As for the survivors of this mass shooting, 18 people suffered gunshot wounds, those injuries varying in severity. A 19th victim suffered a broken leg.
Officials tell us when the shots were fired, the partygoers started running for their lives, even jumping out of second story windows.
Charges could be upgraded. At this point, we don't know what led authorities to the pair. We're working to gather new details now.
CLASSMATES IN KATY REACT
Students at a local high school are dealing with shock and grief after finding out two of their classmates were killed at the party.
"I knew Arielle," student Fabian Brown said. "She was a really nice girl; very quiet. She was always enthusiastic. I never ever thought it would be her and I wouldn't be seeing her in my class."
It was no doubt a tough day for students at Morton Ranch High School in Katy. Monday was the first day back after learning two of their classmates were killed at what authorities are calling a "birthday party gone wild."
"It's just a stupid thing to die over," classmate Jackson Hazelwood said. "It probably wasn't even worth it. I just feel sorry for the families."
Queric Richardson, 17, was gunned down while trying to escape the mayhem. Arielle Shepherd, 16, was also shot and killed.
The party they attended was heavily promoted on social media.
"I feel like that's how they found it out about and figured, 'Hey, there's a lot of people here. Let me cause some trouble,'" Brown said.
A BIRTHDAY PARTY GONE WILD
According to HCSO, guests were there to celebrate the 18th birthday of Mariah Boulden, who lives in the home. Officials said Boulden's mother was there as well.
Sheriff Garcia said the problems began when party organizers took to social media to promote the event.
"Anytime you promote a birthday party on social media, you have no control over who to expect at your door," Garcia said. "What it does is indicate, that your saying to the social media world, 'I don't know who you are, but you're invited.' That's not a good practice."
Authorities said there was no provocation and no evidence of a confrontation. The initial shot was reportedly fired in celebration, which caused someone to react and fire randomly into the crowd.
"It is just a horrible combination of immaturity, access to a firearm and the inability to control oneself," Garcia said.
As the gunfire erupted, guests fled the home in a panicked rush to escape.
We talked to a young man who was at the party, who asked us not to show his face. He described moments of sheer terror as bullets went flying and people were scrambling to get away.
"I'm by, like, the garage and the door with the other people. And I'm telling and pushing everybody like, 'Move to the garage,'" he told us. "Because I looked, and I could see him coming toward the door."
The garage door is now bowed out. That's where deputies say people were pushing, trying frantically to get out of the house.
The anonymous witness said the shooting went on for three to five minutes. When it ended, he walked by two young people who had been shot, trying to get to safety.
"I saw one guy. He was lying on the floor with blood leaking out of his mouth and off his body and stuff," the witness said. "And I saw another girl on the floor, and she looked like she was in shock, but she was also bleeding."
The birthday girl said she was outside when the commotion began.
"I was standing right there and all I heard was shooting," Boulden said. "So I ran toward the house, but the door was locked. So my cousin grabbed me and we ran down the street and called 911."
HCSO officials said investigators arrived within five minutes of receiving the call, and the sense of chaos remained.
"Victims lying everywhere, people running," HCSO Dep. Thomas Gilliland described. "Deputies were arriving, trying to figure out what happened, whether we had shooters on the ground, whether we had anyone with weapons still in the home."
THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES
Sheriff Garcia said alcohol and drugs do not appear to have been a factor in the shootings, but the suspects may be gang-affiliated. No firearms have been recovered from the scene.
Boulden said she never expected this to happen at her birthday party.
"My brother and them were patting people down. [The suspects] didn't want to get patted down and they walked off. And then I guess they came back and went through the gate," Boulden said. "They weren't supposed to be here, whoever they were."
Please stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for updates as we continue following this developing story. We will also post any new information on our mobile news app.
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