Friends, family mourn loss of beloved teacher

Victim's mother: 'I have forgiveness in my heart' for shooter

HOUSTON - Friends and family are mourning the loss of a beloved teacher shot and killed in northeast Harris County.

Deputies said Chad Bowden, 30, was shot while driving at the intersection of Force Street and Nadonley on Thursday. He then crashed into a house and died shortly after, officials said.

An only child, Bowden's family said his mission in life was to give back. His mother, Gwen Bowden, said he did that through his work as an educator.

"He said, 'Mom, I never had a brother or sister.' So he said he just wanted to help impact somebody else's life," said Bowden.

Bowden was a physical education coach at Pleasantville Elementary. The students whose lives he impacted through the years adored him. They made a banner to honor him with messages like "We love you, Coach B," and "We miss you."

Bowden's mom said they were deeply touched by the heartfelt banner.

"Those words of encouragement really meant a lot; For them to take the time out, for the principal to bring over what the students wanted to share and give back to us," said Bowden.

The mystery surrounding Bowden's death has yet to be unraveled.

A woman who lived in the home into which Bowden crashed spoke with Local 2 on Friday.

"We were trying to make him stay up until the paramedics got here," she said.

Bowden's grief-stricken parents said faith, family and friends are helping them cope. The victim's mother said she's even praying for the person who robbed her of her only child.

"I have forgiveness in my heart for that person. I pray that their soul is saved and they come to know Jesus too," said Bowden.

Bowden's parents said their son had no enemies. They hope the positive impact he made at the school will continue to live.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to give Crime Stoppers a call at 713-222-TIPS.

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