Questions plague men charged with birthday party shooting
After Harris County Sheriff's officials announced the arrest of two people in connection with a deadly birthday party shooting, family members and party-goers stepped forward to question whether investigators had all the facts.
A total of six people have now given formal statements to detectives that one of the accused shooters, Willie Young, is innocent.
One of those claiming Young is being wrongly accused is his own sister, who was also wounded during the shooting.
"It happened out of nowhere, they just started shooting out of nowhere," said Young.
Young said she was shot in the foot while trying to hide under a table, but did not see who shot her. She told Local 2 her brother transported several wounded party-goers and her to the hospital the night of the shooting.
"I know for a fact it wasn't my brother," said Young.
Young's mother, Yolanda, also told Local 2 her son was not a guest at the party but had been sent there to pick up his sister. Yolanda Young said while she was at the hospital tending to a sick child she discovered her daughter was at the party without her permission. Young said she then called her son and told him to pick up his sister and take her home.
"I know my son is innocent," said Yolanda Young.
Community activist Quanell X took Young, her daughter and five other party-goers to the Sheriff's Office to give statements that Willie Young was not the shooter.
"This doesn't pass the smell test," said Quanell X. "Why would a young man shoot people and then take the wounded to the hospital?"
The second suspected gunman, Randy Stewart, faced a judge Monday evening after being charged with aggravated assault. However, the father of two teens shot during the party told Local 2 he believes Stewart only fired in self-defense. Lawrence Guidry's son, Qu'eric Richardson, was killed and his other son was shot in the stomach and survived.
Guidry said his surviving son told him he saw the shooting and that Stewart only fired in self-defense. Guidry said Stewart was friends with his sons and he doesn't believe he would hurt the boys.
"So your son saw Randy shoot at the other person in defense of other people?" asked Local 2 Investigator Robert Arnold.
"Right," said Guidry.
Guidry also questioned whether sheriff's detectives have discovered all those responsible for the shooting. Richardson was shot and killed on the street outside of the party, which conflicts with early statements from Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who said the shooting was the result of one person firing in a celebratory manner and second person firing into the crowd as a panicked reaction to the first shooting.
"So my son escaped with his life, but was then shot on the street," said Guidry.
Sheriff's officials have said they are probing whether gang affiliations played a role in the shootings. Guidry said he now fears for his surviving son's life since he witnessed the shootings.
"I'm in fear that they have another attempt on my son's life to keep him from speaking," said Guidry.
In a strange twist Local 2 discovered at the time of the shooting, Stewart was awaiting trail on charges of forgery. According to Harris County court records, Stewart is accused of forging a check that bore the name of Qu'eric Richardson.
"I don't even know what to make of that," said Guidry.