'That's the house': 8-year-old's alleged killer in targeted drive-by shooting says he was not alone

ByDerrick Lewis via KTRK logo
Thursday, August 18, 2022
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Eyewitness News has uncovered new details in the arrest of a man accused for his role in a drive-by shooting that killed an 8-year-old boy.

CLOVERLEAF, Texas (KTRK) -- A man has been charged with murder in connection to a drive-by shooting that killed an 8-year-old boy in east Harris County.

Denzel Perkins is behind bars and charged with murder in connection with the shooting that killed Paul Vasquez inside his Cloverleaf-area home on June 12.

Authorities arrested Perkins on Tuesday in what investigators believe was a targeted drive-by shooting.

In a statement to detectives, Perkins reportedly admitted to driving the car involved.

"I do find there was probable cause," the judge said during Perkins' first court appearance on Wednesday. "This is a case where there's basically a drive-by, an apartment is shot up, and there's an 8-year-old child walking down the hallway. The child is shot and dies at the hospital."

The Harris County Sheriff's Office used data from Perkins' cellphone that showed him at the location during the shooting.

He told detectives he was not in the car alone.

RELATED: New images released by deputies of getaway car used in murder of 8-year-old boy

"A man who (Perkins) knows as 'Little Fire' was in the passenger seat of the car," a prosecutor said. "'Little Fire' told him, 'That's the house,' and started shooting toward the house."

HCSO said the shooter fired 10 shots into the family's home in the 13800 block of McNair, on the county's east side.

Prosecutors asked for Perkins' bail to be denied, while his court-appointed lawyer asked for it to be set at $30,000.

His bond has been set at $200,000.

Frank Staley, who lives close to the family, said he's been talking to them since the little boy lost his life.

"A child like that should have a long life to live and should not be taken from this world," Staley said.

He said the family is distraught.

"They've been still upset. They are still hurting. Anybody would hurt with a child being that young. Being taken from this life so soon," Staley said.

Staley said this arrest is one step toward justice that the family needs.

The reason behind the shooting remains unknown.

RELATED: Man accused of killing 8-year-old in E. Harris Co. just came off probation, records show