Authorities in Texas say that a 16-year-old was shot dead by another teen outside his home just days after he intervened to stop the gunman from bullying another boy.
A large group of mourners held a vigil on Friday to remember Sam Reynolds, the Arlington High School sophomore who was fatally shot on Thursday afternoon near his family’s apartment complex.
Police say surveillance footage shows a 15-year-old boy pull out a handgun he had concealed in the back of his pants and fire one round into Reynolds’ chest, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Reynolds’ family told investigators that days before the shooting, the victim stepped in to protect a smaller boy from being bullied by the suspect, WFAA-TV is reporting.
Police said that surveillance footage from Thursday afternoon shows Reynolds walking into his apartment complex.
As he is about to enter the building, the suspect, who had just dropped off groceries in another apartment nearby, walks up to him.
‘Within just a matter of a couple of seconds, he pulls out a handgun from the rear part of his pants,’ Arlington Police Lt. Chris Cook said.
‘He points it at the victim and fires one round.’
Reynolds takes one step and collapses to the ground.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Witnesses told police that they saw the suspect – a skinny 15-year-old male wearing a black hoodie.
The suspect fired one shot at Reynolds and then ran away.
A lawyer for the suspect has asked that the child be placed on suicide watch while in detention because his parents said he has talked of killing himself.
‘This was an emotionally tough case for responding officers, investigators and medics,’ Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said in a statement.
‘We will direct our attention to how a young teen suspect accessed a firearm used in the offense.’
Reynolds was the only child of his mother, Madison Fletcher, whose niece, Courtney Fletcher, launched a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses and other related costs.
So far, the crowdfunding effort has raised more than $20,000, with a top goal of $25,000.
‘Madison and Sam had a stronger bond then you could ever imagine — it has always been the two of them, the best of friends,’ the GoFundMe post reads.
Sam was described as an excellent student who loved to play soccer and go to the lake with his grandfather.
He was also considered kind and compassionate by those who knew him.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Ariel Zilber