Former Prairie View A&M University athlete killed in front of girlfriend during home invasion: HPD

Mycah Hatfield Image
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Former PVAMU football player killed during home invasion, police say
A former Prairie View A&M University student-athlete was shot and killed during a targeted home invasion in Houston's southside, police said.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Police are searching for the two men who shot and killed a former Prairie View A&M University football player outside his home in the Sunnyside area.

James Blanton, 34, went outside his home in the 8400 block of Safeguard Street just after midnight on Saturday after hearing a noise in his backyard, according to Houston police.

He and his girlfriend were met by two armed men that officials believe were planning to break into his home. They said Blanton confronted and fought the men, but they ultimately shot him in front of his girlfriend.

Blanton died outside of his Sunnyside townhome during what detectives believe was a targeted robbery.

The medical examiner's office noted that he had gunshot wounds to his head, torso, upper and lower extremities.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Homeowner killed in front of girlfriend while confronting prowlers in Houston's southside, HPD says

A man was shot and killed in a targeted attack after two prowlers were at his home in Houston's southside on Safeguard Street, police said.

"There is no rhyme or reason to what was done or why it was done," his mother, Denise, said. "The only way I can sleep at night is saying it was his time."

Denise said she is taking the loss of her only child minute by minute.

"There can be one minute where I break down and cry and there's another minute I can be laughing and thinking about something he said," his heartbroken mother said.

Denise describes her son, a former offensive lineman for Prairie View A&M, as a "gentle giant" who stood 6 feet 8 inches tall.

His mother said he loved sneakers and cars. He worked in the exotic rental car business.

He made it a priority to volunteer feeding homeless people during the holidays, according to his mother. It was something they did together growing up.

"He had a humble heart," Denise said. "He had a humble and giving heart."

Police describe the two suspects as Black men who were last seen running from the townhome and possibly got into a getaway car.

Denise hopes police are able to catch the men.

"Not because I want revenge in my heart," Denise said. "That's not what I want. I just think that they want to see my face and know that was something that you took precious from me. Not to see anything bad. That's just not me."

Neighbors and Blanton had surveillance cameras on the home.

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