Only on ABC13: Eyewitness recalls seeing armed man walking toward Baytown school

Brooke Taylor Image
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Eyewitness who called 911 on armed man: 'I'd want somebody to call'
Only ABC13 is speaking to an eyewitness whose 911 call is being credit with potentially saving lives at a Baytown school.

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- A witness who called 911 about a man arrested for having a gun near a high school campus on Friday described to ABC13 what he saw as questions remain about what the suspect's intentions were.

"I was stopped at the stop light, and on the very far right of the road, I saw this young individual, and he had a pistol hanging out of his pocket," Damian Ramirez told Eyewitness News.

Ramirez said he called the police because the man was walking in the direction of Peter Hyland Center, a high school in Goose Creek Consolidated ISD.

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"I figured I would call the police because I'd want someone to call my sister's school if someone was walking toward them," Ramirez said.

Shortly after, police arrested 18-year-old Emmanuel Lopez.

The Baytown Police Department said Lopez was arrested on school grounds. According to the arresting officer, Lopez was 10 to 15 feet of a "gun-free zone" sign.

Chief John Stringer even said they "likely prevented a horrific scene of casualties." However, police have not offered any proof of what the suspect's intentions were.

"I don't know his intentions," Ramirez said. "All I know is he was walking on the side of the road going toward the school. All I thought is, 'There's a school here, and I don't think it's very safe for someone to be walking outside a school with a gun.'"

Lopez was charged with a misdemeanor count of unlawful carry of a weapon. His bond was set at $100.

According to the Harris County District Attorney's Office, prosecutors are filing a motion to enhance Lopez's punishment, which would be a state-jail level of punishment. While the punishment will be upgraded, the charge will remain.

The district attorney's office would have to prove Lopez was 300 feet within the campus and did so knowingly.

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