18-year-old in custody after 12-year-old boy killed during argument in Sunnyside area, sources say

Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Man in custody after boy killed during argument in Sunnyside: Sources
A man is in custody after a 12-year-old boy was shot and killed during an argument on Barberry Drive in the Sunnyside area, according to sources.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A source confirmed to ABC13 that an 18-year-old suspect is now in custody after a 12-year-old boy was shot and killed while walking from a store in the Sunnyside area on Monday night.

Fred Johnson's family is now mourning his death, and neighbors told ABC13 they wonder if anything could have been done to prevent it.

"His mother, I know for a fact his mother is dying right now," Coach Quincy said. "Good kid, man, good kid. Real friendly kid."

Quincy has run after-school football and baseball programs in the neighborhood for more than a decade, trying to keep kids off the streets to prevent tragedies like this from happening.

"Resources. That's what these kids need over here. They don't have any resources over here. They don't have nothing," he said.

The Houston Police Department said the shooting happened outside of an apartment complex in the 4100 block of Barberry Drive near Scott Street at about 11 p.m.

Police said the 12-year-old was walking home with his friends when they got into an argument with the suspect. The victim's best friend said there was bad blood between Fred and the 18-year-old.

"That doesn't make you shoot a 12-year-old for no reason. You shot and killed that boy for no reason," the victim's best friend said. "I heard the first gunshot, his bodyweight got heavy, and he dropped."

In a matter of seconds, he said Fred was gone. The 12-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 13-year-old's parents gave Eyewitness News permission to speak to him about what he saw Monday night. ABC13 chose to conceal his identity for his safety.

"The last bullet was meant for me. He was supposed to shoot me with the last bullet, but he missed," the victim's best friend said.

It's unclear what the argument was about, but HPD said it got heated and escalated. That's when the 18-year-old shot the boy multiple times, according to police.

"I know him. We knew him for, like, two months because we let him stay here because his mama kicked him out. He got evicted from his apartment," the victim's best friend said.

"There's no need to do what you done. If it was a conversation, you know, a child with a grown-up, go home. Let him go home," Quincy said.

One neighbor told ABC13 about the moment the deadly shots were fired.

"I hear the 'Bam! Bam!' And I said, 'What the heck is that?' Then I hear people screaming and hollering, and I see people running and running and running, and I'm looking out the window. I didn't even go out there," the neighbor said.

The 12-year-old boy was among five people shot across the Houston area in a span of less than six hours.

The shooting happened at the very same apartment complex where the 4-year-old grandson of another neighbor, Lori Ann Milam, was shot five years ago. He survived the shooting.

Two people were killed on Houston's southside during an argument over a game of dice, and in northwest Houston, two men were shot, and one was killed.

"It's about time that the City of Houston recognizes that we have a real big problem when we lose our children," Milam said. "Children are supposed to bury their parents. Not their parents burying their child. My heart goes out to the young lady who lost her son. No one should have to be afraid where they live."

"My message to my young brothers: Put the guns down. Put the violence down," Quincy said before the 18-year-old's arrest. "To whoever did this: Just turn yourself in."

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