Houston mom's plea to find teen son's killer: 'Come out and speak'

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Thursday, July 22, 2021
Houston mom's plea to find son's killer: 'Come out and speak'
Instead of saving up for her son's 18th birthday, this mom paid for his burial. Now, her family is hoping to get the suspect who took her son's life off the streets.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On June 29, someone shot and killed 17-year-old Xavier Portillo while he was in a car at the intersection of Beechnut and Boone Road in southwest Houston. Now, investigators are looking into the case as another possible instance of deadly road rage.

Xavier's mom, Perla, said her son and two of his friends were leaving a taco truck, which was one of their family's favorites. It's less than five minutes from where they live, but that night, the rising Elsik High School senior never made it home.

"He always texted me that he was going to be a good kid. Nothing was going to happen to him," Perla said. "He was going to show me God was going to bless him."

A bullet shot straight through those promises when Xavier was killed while sitting in the backseat of a friend's SUV.

SEE ALSO: Police investigating road rage as motive in 17-year-old's shooting death in SW Houston

Now, only questions remain for his family.

"When I see cars or when I see the lights, I kind of shut down," Perla said. "I just try to figure out what was his last word. What did he feel? What triggered it? I just can't be myself."

Xavier was her oldest child. He loved dogs and cars, but he died before getting the chance to own one.

"Instead of me getting money to celebrate his 18th birthday, or earning money to get him a car, all the savings and people that helped me were for his funeral and his burial," Perla said.

SEE ALSO: 8 tips to help drivers avoid road rage

She said her purpose now is to bring her family peace. She's asking anyone who saw the shooting around 12:40 a.m. on Tuesday, June 29, to call Houston police.

On Wednesday, investigators released new images showing the suspected shooter's white Honda Accord with chrome door handles and five-spoke wheel rims. Police said it could also have a dark-colored front bumper. That's something body shop mechanics may remember.

"Maybe, if they touch their heart and think about the fact that it can be your kid, your grandson, your brother, your nephew, and you want justice for that person... to come out and speak," said Perla. "That's not going to bring him back, but it's going to give me a little bit of peace knowing they're not going to hurt [anybody] else. He's never coming back."

Through tears, Perla said she knows her son is in a better place and she prays that police find the person who took him.