HOUSTON — A 16-year-old Houston girl died after being shot multiple times while walking the family dog in her neighborhood Tuesday, authorities said.
Diamond Alvarez was walking the dog, named Peanut, at around 9:30 p.m. CST when family members said they heard gunshots ring out, KHOU-TV reported. When Peanut returned home without Alvarez, family members became worried.
“Our dog came back by himself and that’s not normal,” the teen’s mother, Anna Machado, told the television station. “So, I called my daughter but she didn’t answer.”
Police arriving at the scene found Alvarez with multiple gunshot wounds, KPRC-TV reported. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I tried CPR. I couldn’t bring her back,” Machado told the television station. “I tried so hard to keep her alive.”
Alvarez was a sophomore at Madison High School in Houston, KHOU reported. The teen’s stepfather, Tito Mozzygamba, said Alvarez was a straight-A student who enjoyed basketball and volleyball and aspired to become a cosmetologist.
“Whoever shot this girl 22 times in the back ... they are cowards,” Mozzygamba told the television station.
Houston police have not confirmed how many times Alvarez was shot, other than to say she was hit multiple times, KHOU reported. Police have not released a motive or description of any suspects, the television station reported.
“Come forward. Speak up,” Machado said. “And whoever did it, (they’re) cowards. She didn’t deserve (this). She didn’t deserve none of this.”
In a statement, the Houston Independent School District said the organization “grieves the loss” of Alvarez.
“We offer our deepest sympathy to the student’s family, friends and the entire school community, the statement said. “Counselors have been made available to support students and staff at this difficult time. They will remain available for as long as they are needed.”
A makeshift memorial stands where Alvarez was found, KTRK-TV reported.
”I mean, the person that did that to her was very cold-hearted,” Jovanna Martinez, a close family friend and neighbor, told the television station. “It’s not right. She was a happy person, joyful. Her family loved her a lot. She had a lot of people that loved her, she still will too. She will forever live in everybody’s heart. I don’t think it’s something people will get over really easy.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Alvarez’s funeral.
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