16-year-old girl shot to death in NW Harris Co., man charged with murder

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Saturday, April 17, 2021
16-year-old shot to death in NW Harris Co.
A man has been charged in the 16-year-old's shooting death. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the victim was in a relationship with the shooter.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 16-year-old girl was shot and killed Friday, and a 20-year-old man she was dating has been charged with murder.

It happened just before 7 p.m. in the 11000 block of Smokehollow Court near the Sam Houston Tollway at Fallbrook Drive.

An investigator on the scene told ABC13 the girl was found shot to death inside the home.

The man believed to be the shooter, Alexander Valenzuela, has been charged with murder, according to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. Valenzuela was in a relationship with the victim, investigators said.

They said he's the one who made the 911 call and reported the shooting to dispatchers. It's unclear what led up to the shooting.

Investigators say this all took place at Valenzuela's home.

Initial reports led authorities to believe the shooting was accidental until deputies arrived and began looking into what exactly happened, according to investigators on scene.

The victim, identified as 16-year-old Ciana Castro, was found with a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies said they found Valenzuela inside the home when they arrived at the same time as his sister. Valenzuela's sister rushed inside the house before both were detained, the sheriff's office said in a statement Saturday. Valenzuela and his sister gave different versions of what happened, and physical evidence found did not support the accidental shooting claim, authorities said.