PEARLAND, Texas – A manhunt is underway in Texas as law enforcement authorities are trying to find a 19-year-old gunman who is wanted in a shooting at a popular flea market that resulted in the death of a 10-year-old boy and the wounding of four other people, according to reports.
Police identified 19-year-old David Negrete as a suspect in the deadly encounter at Cole’s Flea Market in Pearland on Sunday, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest, according to Fox 26 Houston.
Officer Chad Rogers, with the Pearland Police Department, said, “He should be considered armed and dangerous.”
Police were dispatched around 5:34 P.M. to Cole’s Flea Market located at 1014 North Main in reference to shots fired.
Responding officers located five individuals suffering from gunshot wounds; a 10-year-old Hispanic male, a 14-year-old Hispanic female, a 37-year-old Hispanic male, a 16-year-old Hispanic male, and an 18-year-old Hispanic male (later identified as a suspect). Each person was transported to a nearby hospital.
The 10-year-old victim died at the hospital. His name has not been released as of Tuesday, the New York Post reported.
“Extremely tragic for the City of Pearland. Tragic for Cole’s Flea Market. Tragic for all the families that attend that flea market,” said Rogers.
Five people were shot at Cole’s Flea Market when at least two armed suspects got into an argument and opened fire. (Screenshot click2houston)
As police search for Negrete, they also arrested a pair of 18-year-olds on Monday in connection with the shooting,
Juliana Espiono and Cruz Mesa were taken into custody on charges of tampering with physical evidence and making a false statement to a peace officer, reported Fox 26 Houston.
Police confirmed that Mesa was among the people who were shot at the flea market.
Cruz Mesa, 18, was arrested on counts of tampering with physical evidence and making a false statement to a peace officer. (Pearland Police Department)
Juliana Espiono, 18, faces the same charges as Cruz Mesa. (Pearland Police Department)
The teen girl and Mesa were in stable condition, while the 16-year-old underwent surgery. The adult man was treated and released.
Gunfire broke out after an argument between two strangers, Rogers said in a news conference Sunday. The two people, and possibly a third person, exchanged shots with handguns.
Negrete is believed to be one of the shooters, Rogers said. The charge on the arrest warrant is for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. It’s unclear if it will be upgraded since the child died.
“I can tell you that the 10-year-old, the 14-year-old, and the 37-year-old victims were innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire as a result of the altercation,” Rogers said.
Investigators are still trying to determine if the injured 16-year-old was also involved in the impromptu gun battle.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Negrete, charging him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. (Pearland Police Department)
Cole’s Flea Market has more than 1,000 vendors and brings in 12,000 to 15,000 customers every weekend. It is considered the oldest and largest flea market in the Texas city, according to its website.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Monday that authorities were offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case, the New York Post reported.
“Texas mourns the loss of a precious child following the devastating tragedy in Pearland yesterday, and our hearts are with the four other victims in the hospital as they recover from their injuries,” Abbott said in a statement. “The State of Texas is deploying our full support to local law enforcement to ensure the perpetrators of this crime are caught and brought to justice.”