Killed Over Brownie, Houston Teen Recalled As Kind Upstander
HOUSTON, TX — Brian Angel is dead because of a brownie. Police in Houston said the 14-year-old boy who was stabbed in the eye over the sweet treat last week died of his injuries Friday, and his attacker has been charged as a juvenile with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
By all accounts, Brian was a good an well-liked kid. His friends remember him as outgoing, generous and kind — an “upstander” who defended others against injustice. He dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player, his friends said.
The melee that caused the student’s death broke out Wednesday at a corner store near Jane Long Academy, a southwest Houston school for grades 6-12, police said. It started inside the store and spilled into the parking lot, when Brian was stabbed.
“It was over a brownie. It’s ridiculous,” Sergio Munoz, the victim’s friend, told news station KTRK. “He didn’t deserve what happened.”
At a candlelight vigil held Sunday night at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Gethsemane Campus, Jane Long Academy Principal Keri Wittpenn said she learned Brian had died as she left a pediatrician’s appointment with her newborn son. She drove to the parking lot and lost her composure, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“I sat and wept, trying to understand why one of our students didn’t come home safely and, as a new mom, how to cope with the death of a child,” Wittpenn said.”I kept thinking how unfair it was that you sent your son to school and he did not arrive safely home. I don’t understand why this tragedy happened, and I have so many questions for God.”
Iris Ruiz, 16, told the Chronicle that Brian “always stood up for people and had their backs.”
St. Luke’s is near Jane Long Academy, but Brian and his family weren’t members, the Chronicle said. Still the Rev. David Horton, the church’s pastor, went to the hospital to see Brian before he died and called it one of the “greatest privileges in my life.”
He condemned the violence that took the teen’s life.
“Once more, a moment of rage has crippled our community and brought us to our knees,” Horton said. “Violence is a virus that cannot exist without a carrier.”
Jane Long Academy will provide grief counselors to students and staff when they return from spring break on March 18.
“We are heartbroken to learn that our student has passed away,” the Houston Independent School District said in a statement. “We offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who loved and cared for him. …”
Emily Ramos, an eighth grader who lives in the same apartment complex as the suspect, said she was “scared and mad” over the police handling of the incident. She told the Chronicle that it was two days after the stabbing before the suspect, who wasn’t named because of his age, was arrested.
“The police never looked for him at his house,” she said. “We had to go call the police.”
A crowdfunding account for funeral expenses has been established on GoFundMe. More than $4,200 of a $5,000 goal had been raised by midday Monday.
Tributes are pouring in on the page.
“Brian was in two of my classes at JLA,” wrote Allegra Pugh, a teacher. “He was very kind hearted and I loved him. He was a respectable child. He will be missed!”
Jose Hernandez wrote that his heart “broke” when he saw news accounts of the tragedy.
“You would always ride my bus back home with your friends and siblings … even (though) you did not know me, only as your bus driver. I was always happy you all would ride my bus back home. RIP my little friend and look out for your family … will miss you, buddy.”
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