Teen accused of fatally stabbing neighbor

February 1, 2009 4:34:02 PM PST
A fight between neighbors turns deadly and a teenager accused of murder is still on the loose.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Investigators are working to track him down. The dispute had officers bringing out a SWAT team.

Police say the 17-year-old and his neighbor had fought before, but Saturday night, things apparently boiled over and that led to the deadly attack in northeast Houston.

People who live near the home on Mulvey and Erastus where it happened are trying to make sense of it all. The victim's family is surprised the incident took place. Everyone says the victim and his alleged attacker were friends.

Late Sunday afternoon, relatives gathered at Jesus Barboza's home. They describe the 40-year-old construction worker as a good, peaceful man. Apparently, as was his routine, he was hanging out drinking last night with a nephew and a neighbor, Jose Ivan Bernal, 17, when something went terribly wrong.

"I was just in my room and I saw my mom screaming," said Stephanie Valdez the victim's niece. "I looked out the window and I told my mom they were fighting."

After that Barboza's relatives found him bleeding. He had at least two large stab wounds. They also say they saw Bernal run back into his home with a knife. A police SWAT team surrounded Bernal's house but did not find him.

The 17 year-old is still on the run tonight. Police believe an argument preceded the stabbing.

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