Grieving Mom disputes early reports 10-year-old's shooting death was accidental

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- More than two weeks after a 10-year-old boy was shot to death in what police called an accidental shooting, his mother is sharing more about what she believes happened on that tragic day.
Houston police received a call of a shooting on Oct. 28 at an apartment complex in the 8300 block of Willow Place.

Upon arrival, police said the victim and his 11-year-old friend found a gun inside a car, and one of them began playing with it.

During that time, the gun went off, striking the 10-year-old.

Khalid Mendez's mother, Chelicee Simon, identified him as the child who was shot.

She said Khalid was a great boy who died in her arms.

"I was upset when they said it was an accident," Smith told ABC13. "My son didn't say it was an accident. My son lived for at least 10 minutes to point out his shooter."

Investigators said there are conflicting reports about which child had the gun when it went off, but Simon said there's no question in her mind about what happened.

She also told ABC13 that she wanted to make clear that the car where the kids found the gun did not belong to her.

She said she is not a gun owner, and the other child involved is a family friend.

A lieutenant with Houston police said the 11-year-old was Khalid's cousin.

Simon said she had warned Khalid in the past about how dangerous guns can be.

"I told him about gun violence, and for him to get killed anyway by a kid, it's heartbreaking," Simon said. "It's really heartbreaking. I really don't know what to do with myself. The only thing I want is justice. That's all I want them to give me."

Police have not announced any charges tied to the weapon or the shooting in this case, but Simon said there's more to the story.

She believes bullying may have played a role.

She said someone should be held accountable for the death of a child she describes as smart and special.

"I can't sleep. Cant eat," Simon said. "I feel guilty about even going to the store, or anything, because my son was that person for me. He was the man of the house. He was a little boy who never got to become a man."

His death left his mom fighting to make sure his life mattered.

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