Fears over retaliation as hunt for party gunmen continues
Updated On: Nov 12 2013 11:24:48 PM CST
Families of the children who survived a deadly birthday party shooting say they are terrified of retaliation after hearing gang members are threatening anyone who talks to investigators.
"I don't have anyone to protect me from that, it's just me," said Lawrence Guidry.
Guidry son, Que'ric Richardson, was killed during the shooting at an 18-year-old girl's birthday party on Saturday. Guidry's other son was also shot, but survived.
Guidry said his son's classmates from Morton Ranch High School warned him gang members believed to be at that party are sending out threatening anyone who talks to investigators.
"Not only do I have to worry about protecting my family, I haven't even buried my son yet," said Guidry. "I sat in the chair next to the window when I heard about the threats all night, sleep is not an option."
Detectives said they are looking for at least two other suspects, in addition to Randy Stewart, who was arrested and charged as one of the shooters. Investigators said since the party was announced as an open invitation to anyone on social media, members of different gangs showed up.
Guidry said he became more concerned about the progress of the investigation when he saw Willie Young released from jail. Young was initially charged as one of the shooters. Those charges were dropped Tuesday after several people stepped forward and gave statements that Young was helping wounded teens, including his own sister.
"They coming at me saying you're a kid killer, you killed that little girl," Young told Local 2 Investigates shortly after his release. "I'm just glad I'm free."
Young said he didn't even know he was suspect until Sheriff's deputies showed up at his house to arrest him on charges of aggravated assault.
"The real killers of these children are still out there, they're still roaming the streets free to commit other crimes," said community activist Quanell X, who has been highly critical of the Sheriff's Office's investigation.
Guidry said he is concerned the confusion over Young's involvement is giving those responsible for the shootings a chance to escape or retaliate. Guidry said investigators still have not taken a formal statement from his son who survived the shooting.
"It makes me fear that they will never be caught or now they have the opportunity to stop anybody from telling on them," said Guidry.
Guidry has set up a fund at Capitol One in his son's name to accept donations to help pay for his son's funeral.
Sheriff Adrian Garcia sent a written statement in response to Young's release:
"We're not an agency that's close-minded. We get the information, we listen and we follow up on it. Justice and truth are being obtained. That's what our commitment is. We're proceeding on with the investigation, we didn't stop just because we had what turned out to be non-credible information, the system continues to work, we continue to find the truth."
"We had multiple witnesses who identified (Young) and we follow up on every bit of information we believe is critical. But the Sheriff's Office does not act alone, we work within the confines of the Harris County criminal justice system, we review our evidence with the district attorney's office and get permission as to whether to proceed to the next step (of filing a charge). So there's no rush to judgment – it's following up on information we believe to be credible."
If you have a news tip or question for KPRC Local 2 Investigates, drop them an e-mail or call their tipline at (713) 223-TIPS (8477).
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