Teen suspects in officer shootout near HISD school charged with robbery by threats, documents say

Saturday, February 4, 2023
Teen suspects in officer shootout near HISD school charged with robbery by threats, documents say
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The 18-year-old who made his way inside Wisdom High School's auditorium has been linked to an alleged robbery with two other suspects at an apartment complex that ended in a shootout with Houston police.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An 18-year-old has been charged in an alleged robbery that happened right before he checked into Houston ISD's Wisdom High School Thursday afternoon, police said.

That suspect was identified by Houston police Friday morning as Mahamoudou Sylla. He has been charged with robbery by threats, documents read.

Police say Sylla confronted someone Thursday afternoon at an apartment complex in the 6400 block of Westheimer, saying, "Give me all you got," while giving the impression he was hiding and holding a gun.

This all happened about a mile down the road from Wisdom High School.

According to police, Sylla then got a ride from an "everyday person," who thought they were doing a good deed, to the school located at 6529 Beverly Hill.

Sylla, a student, checked in to the school through the standard procedures. He went to the auditorium, where police said there were at least 100 students.

Authorities said they were able to take the suspect into custody safely, and there was never a gun inside the school.

What parents are upset about is how the lockdown was handled.

On Friday afternoon, HISD Police Chief Pedro Lopez confirmed that Sylla entered Wisdom High School through the front door, even checking in at the office at 12:34 p.m. At 12:40 p.m., a Houston police officer called the school, saying a suspect was possibly inside. At 12:41 p.m., the school was locked down.

"Video surveillance clearly captures him going up to the front, waiting at the front door. He buzzed in and went into the office area and signed in like most students do," Lopez said.

However, HISD confirms that the first notification did not go out to parents until 1:53 p.m., well after many students had already called their moms and dads. The gap of over an hour from lockdown to notification, according to HISD sources who spoke to ABC13, was clearly too long.

On Friday, the head of innovation and strategy at HISD told ABC13 the district should have communicated better. "We want to do a better job at a lot of things, and one of them is communicating to families to make sure they're aware of any situations that may impact them or their children," Michael Love said. "That's what we're going to look at to make sure we're communicating."

There were two other teens, an 18-and 17-year-old, also arrested, who are linked to the robbery at the apartment complex. Police said 18-year-old John Nsenguwera was shot in the knee by a Houston police officer and is expected to be OK.

Nsenguwera has been charged with aggravated assault against a peace officer.

Mohamed Robinson, 17, was also arrested at the apartment complex, where police said they recovered a gun. He has been charged with robbery by threats.