Patrick Riggins claims that for weeks, he and his best friend, Shante Thompson*, received threats from a man named Tariq Lackings. They filed six or seven police reports, Riggins said, but nothing came of them.
Weeks later, on the night of April 10, he and Thompson and some friends were walking down Dennis Street in Midtown when they were ambushed by seven or eight people. Riggins says the group was clearly targeting Thompson. Thompson's friend, Willie Sims, tried to defend her, but they attacked him too, beating both Sims and Thompson with pipes and knives, Riggins told the Houston Press. Ultimately, one man fatally shot both of them. As the gang turned the corner fleeing the scene, Riggins remembers someone yelling, “You're next!”
Yesterday, police arrested and charged Lackings with shooting and killing Thompson and her friend Sims. While Riggins is glad to see Lackings in custody, that doesn't change the fact that six or seven more people are still out there, he said. Riggins says he still receives threats from people who he believes were in the crowd that attacked Thompson and Sims.
Prosecutors have not yet released any information about the motive behind the slaying, but Riggins, who told the Press he also spoke with investigators, says he has a pretty good idea of what happened. About a week ago, a person named Serenity Colquitt was brought in for questioning. Colquitt reportedly confirmed to investigators she was present the night of the killings, though local activist Quanell X defended her, saying she was innocent.
Riggins, however, blames the tragedy on jealousy and feelings of betrayal that got way out of hand.
Riggins told the Press he'd met both the alleged gunman, Lackings, and Shante Thompson through Colquitt, and that all four of them used to be friends. Riggins says they all supported Thompson, a transgender woman, as she made her gender transition. Riggins eventually grew close with Thompson after he and Colquitt, another transgender woman, had a falling-out. Riggins claims Colquitt grew jealous because of his close friendship with Thompson.
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The relationship was further strained when Thompson's ex-boyfriend started hanging out with Colquitt to make Thompson jealous, Riggins claims. On a weekend getaway, however, the ex allegedly stole money from Colquitt, Riggins told the Press. After the trip, the ex reconnected with Thompson, which angered Colquitt. According to Riggins, Colquitt believed Thompson and the man had conspired to steal her money.
“I know she played a part in the attack, because I saw it with my own eyes,” Riggins alleges. “For them to allow her to literally be free, I mean, she deserves [to be held responsible].” Riggins claims that the night Thompson and Sims were murdered, Colquitt yelled out that she was coming for him next.
The Harris County District Attorney's Office isn't saying anything about the motive behind the double murder, but police said they're still searching for the other suspects who were involved; Riggins says that he wasn't able to identify all the attackers in the dark. He insists the attack seemed planned well in advance.
(Note: Shante Thompson has also been referred to as “Robert Isaac,” her long-ago legal name, or, even more confusingly, “Robert 'Shante' Isaac," by other news outlets that apparently won't let Thompson transition to her chosen female identity, even after her death. At a vigil for Thompson and Sims last Friday, advocates criticized local media for not even adhering to the AP Stylebook's guidance for covering transgender people, which, ICYMI, you can see here.)