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Reward tripled in death of man shot, killed protecting mother from purse snatcher

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HOUSTON – Authorities increased the reward for information in a case involving a man killed as he tried to save his mother from a purse snatcher, according to the Houston Crime Stoppers.

The organization said it is now offering up to $15,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.

 was shot and killed in southwest Houston while trying to rescue his mother from an armed robber, according to the Houston Police Department.

James Weldon Ecford and his mother were coming home around 11 p.m. April 11 from an outing, when she was confronted outside their home in the 8500 block of Sands Point Drive by a man demanding her purse, police said.

Her son, who had gone into his house ahead of her, heard her cries for help and ran to her. Investigators said Ecford and his mother were neighbors.

Police said the man dragged the woman across the parking lot as she became entangled in her purse straps.

Houston Crime Stoppers released a sketch Wednesday of the person, investigators believe is responsible for Ecford’s death.

According to police, the two men began to struggle, and at some point, the robber pulled out a gun and shot Ecford in the head. Police said a second shot was fired at the mother, but it missed her.

Police are still searching for the gunman, who ran to a white 4-door sedan and drove off, investigators said.

Investigators described the man as black, wearing a baseball hat, 27-32 years old, approximately 6 feet 2 inches tall and thin. The man is believed to have a hooked nose.

Anyone with is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477) or make an online submission at www.crime-stoppers.org.