11-year-old murder victim's family suing NE Harris County apartment complex where he died

ByDerrick Lewis KTRK logo
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
11-year-old murder victim's family suing complex where he died
Darius Dugas Jr.'s murder was preventable, the boy's family claims in a lawsuit against the apartment complex where he died.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of an 11-year-old boy who was shot and killed earlier this year is now suing the apartment complex where he was gunned down in northeast Harris County.

Darius Dugas Jr. was shot to death on Feb. 3 while getting his jacket from a car in the parking lot of the complex, located in the 12200 block of Tidwell.

RELATED: Loved ones identify 11-year-old killed while grabbing coat from car: 'You killed a good boy'

Darius' family says they believe his death was preventable and that the complex is not doing enough to protect the people who live there.

Attorney Taft Foley, who is representing the boy's family, said the complex showed negligence, adding that it's Black and brown families living in these communities who have to suffer.

"These apartment complexes, once they are aware of violent criminal activity, they have a duty to do something, and it appears they are failing these Black and brown people at these apartment complexes, over and over and over again," Foley said.

RELATED: 11-year-old shot to death in NE Harris Co. after going outside to get jacket from car, sheriff says

Daveyonne Howard, 19, has been charged with murder in the shooting.

Foley says the suspect is known to neighbors for being violent, holding residents at gunpoint, shooting at moving cars, and robbing people.

Foley alleges that the complex knew about Howard's behavior and did nothing.

"It was preventable. They could've gotten a 'no trespass' order against this young man. He would've been gone. They could've called the police on him after knowing he was engaging in violent criminal activity on the property, but they didn't," Taft told ABC13, adding that the child's mother has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"She is struggling. Darius Dugas Jr.'s birthday was last week, and that was a difficult week for her. She is doing the best that she can under the circumstances and she is literally taking it day by day," Foley said.

Darius is described as being a star of his community and an A student who was in the band and played sports.

ABC13 stopped by the complex and talked to neighbors. One woman, Camesha Petty, says she feels safe sometimes, but only as long as she stays in the house.

Petty said she heard the gunshots that killed Darius and says that hasn't been the only shooting.

"Back there, they had a shooting. People were in the house and their windows and stuff got shot out. So it's still not really safe," Petty said.

"No trespassing" signs and cameras are up, moves Foley says the apartment complex made after Darius lost his life.

RELATED: Grieving mother wants justice in northeast Harris County murder of 11-year-old son