Activist calls for investigation after man falsely accused in shootings


by Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News & staff

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 9:16 PM

HOUSTON – One of the men arrested in connection with a mass shooting in Cypress over the weekend has been released from jail. A deadly conduct charge against Willie Young, 21, was dropped Tuesday after new witnesses came forward.

Community activist Quanell X said the sheriff’s department rushed to judgment by arresting Young.

"Don’t put innocent people in jail because you may have a lazy investigator just in a rush to destroy somebody to satisfy the public appetite," he said. "This young man, Mr. Young, has been put in jail, mistreated, taken out of his home—literally with no clothes on—and put in jail for a crime he never committed."

The activist called Young a hero who jumped into action after the shooting.

"He took victims himself to the hospital to seek help and then went back trying to help others," Quanell X said Tuesday outside the Harris County Jail. "

X is demanding an internal investigation by Sheriff Adrian Garcia.

The sheriff responded with a written statement:

"We had multiple witnesses who identified (Young) and we follow up on every bit of information we believe is critical… 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," the statement said.

Randy Stewart, 18, remains behind bars on an aggravated assault charge in the birthday party shooting that left two dead and 19 others injured.

Investigators are searching for at least two more suspects and the weapons used in the mass shooting, according to Harris County Assistant District Attorney Katherine McDaniel.

She believes three gangs were involved. People inside the party said the shooting was a gang initiation with a plan to commit murder.

Richardson was a junior at Morton Ranch High School, according to Katy ISD spokesman Steve Stanford. The second victim, 17-year-old Arielle Shepherd, was a sophomore at Morton Ranch.

Anyone with information about the shootings should call the Homicide Division at 713-967-5810 or call Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-TIPS or download and use the Sheriff’s Office’s iWatch Harris County free smart phone to provide e-mails, text message, photos or video to investigators.