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

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Wednesday, August 17, 2022
26-year-old charged with murder 2 months after 8-year-old killed
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Denzel Jordan Perkins has been arrested as the suspect in a drive-by shooting that left 8-year-old Paul Vasquez dead, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

CLOVERLEAF, Texas (KTRK) -- A 26-year-old man who was given another year of probation has been charged with murder in what deputies called a targeted drive-by shooting that left an 8-year-old boy dead earlier this summer in east Harris County.

Harris County Sheriff's Office's Homicide Unit took Denzel Jordan Perkins into custody on Tuesday, more than two months after little Paul Vasquez was killed inside his Cloverleaf-area home on June 12.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announced Perkins' arrest but didn't elaborate on how investigators tied him to the shooting.

Investigators made an urgent call to the public in the days after Paul's murder in finding his killer or killers. Photos of a gray Kia Optima with front-end damage became the centerpiece of the investigation.

SEE ALSO: 8-year-old's killer may have been in Kia with front-end damage

The vehicle was spotted by a gas station surveillance camera near the scene.

According to deputies, Paul was in bed in the front part of his family's home in the 13800 block of McNair when nine to 10 shots hit the residence. He then got up and told his mother he had been shot before becoming unresponsive, Sgt. Jason Brown said.

Paul's mother and two brothers were inside the home, but they were not hit.

Prior booking photos of Denzel Jordan Perkins.
Texas Dept. of Public Safety

A motive was not immediately known.

Records show Perkins has had prior arrests for burglary and drug possession. His probation on a felon in possession of a firearm charge was extended in January 2022.

Editor's note: An earlier edition stated Perkins was released from probation. This has been corrected to extended probation.