16-year-old killed while allegedly robbing man with brass knuckles lived nearby, family says

Rosie Nguyen Image
Thursday, April 18, 2024
Family identifies 16-year-old killed in alleged brass knuckles hold-up
A family is grieving the death of 16-year-old Joseph Pineda Cortez after police said he was shot while he and an accomplice beat and robbed a man.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A grieving family is opening up to ABC13 after a 16-year-old was shot and killed Wednesday night in what the Houston Police Department believes may be a drug deal gone wrong.

According to HPD, two 16-year-old boys were assaulting a 19-year-old man with brass knuckles at about 10:30 p.m., at the El Paraiso Apartments on Corporate Drive. They allegedly ordered him to go retrieve anything of value in his apartment and bring it to them.

"He (the 19-year-old) was met at the door by his mother, who handed him a firearm. The suspects then began demanding those belongings and threatening his mother and the complainant again. He opened fire, striking both suspects," Lt. T. Riley said.

Neighbor Brian Payne, who lives nearby, said he was home at the time of the shooting.

"I was lying in bed, heard gunshots, and when I came out here, saw someone lying right here facedown on the ground, went and checked for a pulse, and he was already dead," Payne said.

RELATED: 19-year-old beaten with brass knuckles shoots 2 alleged teen robbers, killing 1, Houston police say

Investigators said one of the 16-year-olds died at the scene. Kenia Cortez identified that teen to ABC13 as her son, Joseph Pineda Cortez. She said her family of six children is from Honduras and lives just right across the street at the Waterfalls Park Apartments.

Her 9-year-old daughter, who helped with Spanish translation, explained how this incident has impacted their family.

"My sister's 13th birthday is today, and she is super sad because he (Joseph) died," she said.

The incident happened just four days after another shooting occurred at the same apartment complex. On Sunday, HPD said a 7-year-old boy, who was on the sidewalk, was hit during a shooting between two drivers. He is expected to survive after being transported to the hospital.

READ MORE: 7-year-old boy shot in west Houston drive-by shooting is stable after surgery, officials say

In Wednesday's case, Houston police said the other 16-year-old will survive after being shot in the abdomen and leg. Investigators won't release the shooter's name, citing that he has not been charged or arrested. It's unclear if that will change in the future.

For more on this story, follow Rosie Nguyen on Facebook, X and Instagram.