Family of teen found shot inside car in SE Houston holds benefit as investigation continues

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Sunday, July 9, 2023
Houston police unsure of motive in 16-year-old's death in SE Houston
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The family of Jose Mendoza are looking for answers as the teen's death remains unsolved after he was found shot in a crashed car in SE Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An 11th grader was shot and killed in southeast Houston on Wednesday, and police say they have no known motive or suspects.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 16-year-old found shot to death in crashed car at SE Houston apartments, police say

On Wednesday at about 6: 30 p.m., police responded to a crash at Windwater Drive near Windmill Lakes Boulevard.

When they arrived, they found several people had pulled the victim, identified as Jose Mendoza, out of the driver's seat, working to save his life.

The 16-year-old had been shot, according to police.

"There's an emptiness of him not being there," his sister, Lizzette Villanueva, said.

The Kipp East End student, affectionately known as Tito, had a contagious smile his sisters say brought people together.

SEE ALSO: 17-year-old shot in the head inside car in Greenspoint area, Houston police say

"Full of life," Jose's sister, Amelia Mendoza, said.

On Saturday, family and friends held a barbecue benefit to raise money for funeral expenses.

"My little nephew is texting him, my nieces, like 'Are you coming, are you coming?' So they have that hurt, and there's no response," Villanueva said.

The family will host another plate sale on Sunday, July 9, at 910 Avenue N. Houston, starting at 1 p.m. until food runs out.

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