’I want these killers to be punished:’ Family of slain Houston teenager speaks

Family prepares funeral for 16-year-old girl
Family prepares funeral for 16-year-old girl

HOUSTON – As Houston police search for a man and three women seen fleeing the scene of a shooting on Monday that left 16-year-old Mareja Pratt dead.

Her family says they know who did it.

“I was telling them, you know, try to make peace because, at the end of the day, we are family,” said Marsha Nutall, Pratt’s mother. “We are cousins.”

The cousin, who KPRC 2 has not identified because she has not been charged with a crime, lived with the family for a month until she was asked to leave in January, family members said.

The cousin’s social media threats and bullying against Pratt and her sister continued off and on from January until Monday, when Nutall said the cousin wanted to meet and settle the dispute.

“I just thought she was mad,” said Dekambrie Pratt, who was shot in the back during the incident. “They came to kill.”

The cousin, her girlfriend, another friend and that friend’s boyfriend brought brass knuckles, mase spray and a gun, Dekambrie said. She added that she, her sister and a friend did not bring weapons.

“My sister wasn’t even fighting,” Dekambrie Pratt said through tears. “She was just standing there. She was only standing there.”

“I’m just trying to hold on for my family,” Nutall said. “We are all hurting. Nobody can eat. Nobody can sleep. … I just want justice for her. I want these killers to be punished.”

Mareja Pratt was a sophomore at Elsik High School and the youngest of six children.

“(She) was very, very, very, very funny,” her mom said. “We called her the little fireball, the goofball of the family.”

The family has set up a Go Fund Me to raise money to pay for Mareja Pratt’s funeral.


About the Author:

Emmy and Edward R. Murrow-award winning reporter. Believer, father of five, Ironman finisher. Yo hablo Español.