Elsik HS student targeted on Instagram before she was killed, family says

Jessica Willey Image
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Elsik HS sophomore killed in shooting over 'social media beef'
FAMILY LEFT HEARTBROKEN: In the video above, ABC13's Jessica Willey spoke with the victim's family on what led up to the horrific tragedy.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 16-year-old Elsik High School sophomore was killed in what police call a shooting sparked by a "social media beef."

It happened in the 10800 block of Sharpview Drive on Monday afternoon.

The victim was identified by family as Mareja Pratt, a girl who loved school and wanted to go to college.

"I feel like my whole soul was ripped out. This is hard on my family. So hard," said Kira Walton, the teen's cousin.

Police said at least 15 shots were fired during the incident. Pratt was found dead at the scene.

"This appears to involve an ongoing social media beef with our three victims that came to this location to engage the people," explained Commander David Angelo with the Houston Police Department.

Walton said Pratt had been targeted on Instagram for months.

"She kept picking on her on Instagram, sending people pictures saying she was a prostitute. Messing with her ... messing with her to the point my cousin used to cry about it," she told ABC13.

A 20-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man were injured in the shooting.

They are recovering in the hospital, according to police.

The suspect has only been described as a male. Police said he left the scene with two women in a red or maroon four-door car.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the HPD.

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