Enough is enough: Recent child deaths have Harris County sheriff riled up
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez is one of many who are making a call to end violence against children.
"To me, it's just heartbreaking because as a community, I think we all lose," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said the recent rash of child death cases is taking a toll on the community and the officers who respond.
"It's heartbreaking being out there on the scene," Gonzalez said. "It impacts our own deputies that have to see this each and every day, as well as the community."
The list of child victims is a heartbreaking one.
Ivory West Jr.
Ivory West Jr., 2, was killed in an apparent robbery attempt late Tuesday night.
According to authorities, the shooting happened at an apartment complex on Trailing Vine Road and Stepinwolf Lane.
A father was in his open garage with his 2-year-old son, identified as Ivory, and a friend when they were approached by two men, deputies said.
Deputies said the men immediately opened fire on the three. Ivory was killed, his father was shot about 10 times in the abdomen and the father’s friend was shot in the leg, authorities said.
On June 9, authorities said, around 4:20 a.m., 11-year-old Kamren Jones was struck by at least one bullet while he slept at his home in the 15100 block of North Brentwood Drive.
Harris County authorities said an unknown number of suspects fired numerous rounds from the street into the home.
At the time of the shooting, authorities said it appeared an assault rifle was used.
In May, the remains of 4-year-old Maleah Davis were discovered in a trash bag dumped in Arkansas.
According to investigators, Maleah's stepfather, Derion Vence, said he, Maleah and Maleah’s younger brother were attacked May 3 when he stopped to check a damaged tire. He said he was knocked out during the attack and when he regained consciousness, Maleah and the family’s car were gone.
Vence was later arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the case.
Investigators said blood found in the family’s southwest Houston apartment matched DNA taken from Maleah’s toothbrush.
Jazmine Barnes, 7, was killed in a drive-by shooting in northeast Harris County while traveling in her mother's car last December.
Prosecutors said the car Jazmine was riding in was targeted by mistake.
Eric Black Jr., 20, has been charged with capital murder in connection with the case. Larry Woodruffe, 24, has been identified by sources as the second suspect in the case, but he has not been formally charged in connection with the Dec. 30, 2018, shooting.
According to prosecutors, eight 9 mm shell casings were found at the scene near the Beltway 8 feeder road and Wallisville Road, where the shooting happened. A search of Black’s home turned up a 9 mm pistol that was consistent with the weapon used in the shooting, prosecutors said.
Protect the children
Gonzalez said the community must protect our children, but he promises perpetrators that law enforcement officials will continue to do their jobs.
"Stop harming our children. It's unacceptable," Gonzalez said. "We're not going to accept it and we're going to work very, very hard to find you out, find where you are and hold you accountable."
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