BELLAIRE, Texas – The student who is believed to have shot and killed another student at Bellaire High School on Tuesday was charged with manslaughter Wednesday morning.
Authorities said he has been moved to the Harris County Juvenile Probation Center and his charge could be upgraded.
“At this time the evidence shows that the act was not intentional but it was reckless. So this is not an accident, because pulling a trigger on a gun whether you know if it’s loaded or not – is an intentional act. But he did not – based on the evidence we have right now – intend to kill his friend,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
That 16-year-old student and another person with the suspect were arrested Tuesday, nearly four hours after a 19-year-old student was shot in the chest around 4 p.m. and later died. Police said the gun used in the shooting was a .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol. Police said the shooting was possibly unintentional, but it is unknown since the suspect is not cooperating with detectives.
So far, only the suspected shooter has been charged, but police said charges could be upgraded or added as the investigation unfolds.
Newly-released surveillance video showed the moment authorities swarmed an alley by a Sunrise Grocery and took the student into custody.
At first, a person who appears to be hiding near a dumpster is seen in the bottom, left corner of the screen. Moments later, two unmarked vehicles pull into the parking lot and dozens of officials jump out of the vehicles, weapons were drawn.
Authorities surround the person and quickly get him and a second, unseen suspect on the ground and into handcuffs. Near the end of the video, authorities are seen walking both suspects to their vehicles. After making the arrest, authorities are seen looking in, around and under the dumpster.
“It happened so fast,” said one person who witnessed the arrest. “Two trucks pulled up and unmarked cars and people in heavy artillery suits ... they jumped out and screamed ‘Get out, get out.’ They were just searching perimeter. I guess they were searching for his weapon … searching for something.”
Police said investigators have yet to find the gun used in the shooting and are searching an area near the school. Police said a message has been sent to residents in the area instructing them to alert authorities if they find the weapon.
The second person arrested was later released and expected to face no charges, police said.
At a Wednesday press conference, police said the suspected gunman seems to show no remorse.
After the arrest, Bellaire High School released a statement confirming that an arrest had been made in connection with the shooting and that classes would be canceled Wednesday.
“HISD will cancel classes for students at Bellaire High School tomorrow, Wednesday, January 15," HISD said in the statement. "However, staff members are asked to report to campus. Bellaire High School students should report to school on Thursday, January 16.”
There will be extra security and grief counselors on site Thursday for students and staff members who were impacted by the shooting.
A vigil will be held for 19-year-old Cesar Cortez at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Evelyn’s Park (Great Lawn).