Family mourns grandmother, elementary school teacher's aide killed in driveway

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Editor, Rose-Ann Aragon - Reporter

HOUSTON - A family is grieving the loss of a grandmother and mother of two after a shooting in east Houston.

Leticia Martinez, 52, arrived at her home in the Port Houston area in the 800 block of Harbor Street near Anzac Street around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and was about to open her gate when shots rang out, investigators said.

When police arrived, they said they found Martinez’s body near the gate.

Abel Serna, a family member, said Martinez was a school aide and volunteer at R Martinez Elementary School in the Houston Independent School District.

"(She was a) very nice person. Nice, nice, nice person. I'm heartbroken," Serna said.

Elsie McGowan is a crossing guard at Raul C. Martinez Elementary. She would run into Martinez every now and then. 

"Oh, God. Everybody was sad today when I came in a couple of people were sitting at the table crying," McGowan said. 

Neighbors told KPRC2 reporter Rose-Ann Aragon they heard three shots, but they do not know who the shooter is. They also said Martinez’s family was in the home at the time of the incident.

A business across the street has surveillance cameras that may have caught the shooting. The business owner told Aragon detectives are reviewing the footage to see if it contains any clues.

Police believe a small sedan fled the scene with its headlights off southbound on Harbor Street.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

The principal for the elementary school said HISD’s crisis team was at the school Thursday.

HISD issued the following statement:

We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of one of our volunteer teacher’s aides who worked for Raul Martinez Elementary School for the past 22 years. She was a great educator who was loved by many and will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to her family and friends, as well as the entire Martinez Elementary School community. Grief counselors are on site today to provide support to students and staff and will remain on campus for as long as they’re needed. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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