Man charged with aggravated assault for shooting own family at gas station in NW Harris County

Shelley Childers Image
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
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A man is now in jail after a bizarre case of confusion ended with him shooting his own relative in a gas station incident in northwest Harris County, authorities said.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man is now in jail after a bizarre case of confusion ended with him shooting his own relatives in a gas station incident, according to authorities.

Dozens of yellow evidence markers and shattered car glass tell the story of a brazen shooting at the Circle K gas station in northwest Harris County near Willowbrook Mall.

The incident happened Sunday at about 8:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Drive and Spears Road.

Prosecutors said 23-year-old Jeffery Samuels II fired 40 rounds onto a white Mercedes SUV. Tony Cotton and his wife, Alberta Cotton, were inside the vehicle at the time. Alberta, who was in the passenger seat, was hit at least three times.

Family members told ABC13 Alberta Cotton is a cousin of the accused shooter, and it doesn't appear the suspect knew his own family was in the car.

The confusion began earlier that day when extended family members gathered to mourn the death of an aunt.

Speaking with ABC13 by phone, Tony Cotton said he and his wife were driving their white SUV and asked if they could follow Jeffrey Samuels Sr. to the next family member's home, where they planned to continue grieving and offer condolences.

As they began driving, Samuels Sr. told investigators he became confused by the car that was following him and didn't recognize it. That's when Samuels Sr. called 911 to report the suspicious vehicle and then called his son to share his suspicions.

Investigators said Jeffery Samuels II met his father and mother at the Circle K gas station as they waited to see if the white SUV would follow them in, and it did.

Jeffery Samuels II opened fire just as Tony Cotton opened his driver's side door, police said.

Jeffery Samuels II, who has no previous criminal history in Harris County, is now charged with two counts of aggravated assault for shooting his own family, after his father became confused by who was following him.

Tony Cotton said he is still waiting for Samuels Sr. to clarify how he became confused. He said they are still pressing charges against their younger cousin because "family or not what he did was wrong."

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