A 15-year-old girl was shot 22 times while walking her family’s dog in southwest Houston, Texas.
Police are investigating the killing that took place on Tuesday night. The teen left her home at around 8pm and police were called to the scene at about 9.30pm.
Officers found the teenager with several gunshot wounds and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Her family has identified her as Diamond Alvarez.
The family told law enforcement that they heard gunshots outside their home and became worried. Diamond’s mother told police that she called her daughter but could not reach her.
The mother went outside to look for her along with Diamond’s stepfather. After finding their dog Peanut outside their home, they knew that something was wrong.
They later found Diamond lying in a field a few blocks away.
“I tried CPR. I couldn’t bring her back. I tried so hard to keep her alive,” the mother, Anna Machado, said, according to Click2Houston.
The family told KPRC 2 that Diamond was an honour student at Madison High School, where she was a sophomore, and that she planned to go to cosmetology school.
“Whoever shot this girl 22 times in the back, they are cowards,” Diamond’s stepfather, Tito Moczygemba, told reporters.
The Houston Police Department has said that witnesses reported hearing several gunshots and the squealing of tires as a car drove away from the crime scene. They added that a dark vehicle seen speeding away from the area could have been involved in the shooting.
Mr Moczygemba told reporters that she used to walk the dog “every day” and that the neighbourhood “is becoming really bad if someone can’t even walk their own dog”.
“My brother heard some shots and he told me ‘call Diamond’,” Ms Machado told the press. “So I called my daughter, and she didn’t answer.”
Police have said that they are continuing to look for surveillance footage to get a better view of a possible suspect or suspects, but they are also asking the public for help.
Anyone who has any information that can aid the investigation is asked to contact the Houston Police homicide unit at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.