Here’s a look back at the 10 biggest stories in Texas in 2019

HOUSTON – The year 2019 has had its ups and downs for many in the state. From tropical storms to plant explosions, Texans have seen it all.

So, before the year comes to an end, we are looking back at the biggest Texas stories of 2019.

Let’s take a walk down memory lane:

The shooting death of Jazmine Barnes - Jan. 5, 2019

The case of a 7-year-old girl in Houston who was shot in the head when a gunman fired into her family’s car had captured the attention of the nation.

Jazmine Barnes was killed Dec. 30 in what deputies later described as a case of mistaken identity.

Investigators said they believe the gunman believed he was targeting someone else when he started shooting.

On Jan. 5, 2019, deputies arrested 20-year-old Eric Black Jr. and charged him with capital murder in connection with the case. Larry Woodruffe, 24, was charged with capital murder in connection with Jazmine’s death on Jan. 6, 2019.

Here’s a timeline of how the case developed:

ITC chemical fire - March 17, 2019


An explosion and fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park was seen across the Houston area on March 17, 2019. A shelter-in-place was ordered for Deer Park residents after the fire spread to several tanks that contained chemicals used in nail polish remover, paint thinner and gasoline. The fire continued to grow until it was extinguished on March 19, 2019, until a fireball erupted on March 20, 2019, sending thick smoke into the air but was quickly extinguished. On March 21, 2019, benzene at the facility was detected, which prompted officials to issue a shelter-in-place for Deer Park and Galena Park. Flash fires and flare-ups continued until May 14 as lawsuits from residents poured in against ITC.

Check out the timeline of events below:

The disappearance and death of Maleah Davis - May 4, 2019

Photos of missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis. (KPRC2)

From the moment she disappeared, the case of 4-year-old Maleah Davis has grabbed the nation’s attention.

Derion Vence, who claimed to be the child's stepfather, reported Maleah missing May 4. According to investigators, Vence said he, Maleah and her younger brother were attacked the day before 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.

Maleah’s body was found on May 31 in Arkansas. Community activist Quanell X said Vence confessed to him that Maleah’s death was the result of an accident and that he dumped her body in Arkansas.

Vence remains in jail after being charged with tampering with a corpse and causing serious bodily injury to a child.

Here’s a timeline of how the case has unfolded and what investigators have said the evidence shows.

A 22-year-old gunman killed during exchange of gunfire with federal officers in Dallas - June 19, 2019


On June 19, 2019, a 22-year-old man dressed in tactical gear while carrying a large rifle and several magazines was killed after a shootout with federal officers in downtown Dallas. The shooting happened outside the Earle Cabell Federal Building just before 8:40 a.m.

Investigators said about 300 employees were inside the building when Brian Isaack Clyde opened fire. Investigators said only one employee was injured while taking cover from the shooting. The motives of the shooter were unknown.

Blue Bell licker sends social media into a frenzy - June 29, 2019

Images of the 'Blue Bell licker' in a Lufkin Walmart. (KPRC2)

This one had every Texans on edge. One thing this juvenile found out, don’t mess with Texas -- especially our Blue Bell ice cream!

A video posted on June 29, 2019, went viral after a woman was seen licking the ice cream tub and then placing the container back on store shelves. With the help of social media and authorities, the juvenile was identified.

El Paso shooting - Aug. 9, 2019

It was a mournful day in El Paso after 22 people were killed and 24 others were injured in a mass shooting on Aug. 3, 2019. The shooting was carried out by 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, of Allen, Texas. Crusius surrendered to the authorities and charged with capital murder.

He admitted to the FBI that he targeted people of Mexican descent.

Midland-Odessa shooting - Aug. 31, 2019

Gunmen identified in West Texas mass shooting as Seth Ator 09-1-2019

A 36-year-old man went on a deadly shooting rampage in west Texas on Aug. 31, 2019. The shooting left seven people dead and 22 others injured.

The shooting started with a traffic stop when Seth Ator was pulled over by Texas troopers in Midland that afternoon for failing to use his signal, investigators said. Ator then shot at the troopers with what was described as a AR-type weapon and sped away, investigators said. The initial shooting set off a chaotic rampage during which Ator hijacked a mail carrier truck and fired at random as he drove in the area of Odessa and Midland.

Officials said he acted alone and a motive for the shootings is unknown.

Authorities said Ator might have entered an Odessa movie theater where the chase ended if police had not taken him down.

Ator was gunned down by police during a standoff outside the movie theater.

Tropical Storm Imelda - Sept. 17, 2019

Tropical Storm Imelda caused catastrophic flooding, left hundreds stranded and led to the death of at least five people. More than 2,000 people were rescued in Harris County and about 1,651 vehicles were towed from the roadways.

Imelda is one of the wettest tropical storms in United States history. It is ranked fifth behind Hurricane Harvey at 60 inches of rain in 2017 and Hurricane Allison at 39 inches in 2001. Texas holds five of the six slots for the wettest all-time storms.

Former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger sentenced - Oct. 2, 2019

A white former Dallas police officer who said she fatally shot her unarmed, black neighbor after mistaking his apartment for her own was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of murder.

A jury reached the verdict in Amber Guyger’s high-profile trial for the killing of Botham Jean after six days of witness testimony but just a handful of hours of deliberation.

The basic facts of the unusual shooting were not in dispute throughout the trial. In September 2018, Guyger walked up to Jean’s apartment -- which was on the fourth floor, directly above hers on the third -- and found the door unlocked. She was off duty but still dressed in her police uniform after a long shift when she shot Jean with her service weapon. The 26-year-old accountant had been eating a bowl of ice cream before Guyger entered his home.

His shooting drew widespread attention because of the strange circumstances and because it was one in a string of shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers.

Astros advance to the World Series - Oct. 19, 2019

Although our Astros didn’t snag the World Series title, it was a good run for Houston. How could anyone forget Jose Altuve’s homer?

Altuve homered off Aroldis Chapman with two outs in the ninth inning and the Houston Astros outlasted the New York Yankees 6-4 on Oct. 19 to advance to the World Series for the second time in three years.

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