A civil trial is underway in Harris County District Court, with county attorneys seeking an injuction that would forbid 16 alleged gang members --including a man who was later arrested and charged for the June 2012 shooting that killed three people and wounded popular Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth -- from being anywhere within an area of southwest Houston known as the "Brays Oaks Safety Zone."
The trial began this morning in the 164th District Court. According to a statement released Tuesday morning by the office of Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, "the requested injunction is based on evidence of habitual gang activity as demonstrated by dozens of reports of criminal activity by the gang members."
The area of approximately .75 square miles is bordered by Willowbend Blvd. to the north, Fondren St., W. Bellfort St. and Braesridge Dr. to the west, Ludington to the south, and a drainage facility known as "HCFCD Ditch 140-05-02" to the east. It includes Eleanor Tinsley Elementary School, the Halpin Early Childhood Center, a McDonald's and the Los Arcos, Bennington Square and San Marcos apartment complexes.
The lawsuit connected to the trial was prepared in consultation with the Brays Oaks Management District, the statement said. If granted, the injunction would allow any of the 16 alleged gang members caught within the Bray's Oaks Safety Zone to be arrested and, if convicted, jailed for up to one year and fined $4,000.
The evening of June 20, 2012, one of these men, Feanyichi E. Uvukansi, allegedly shot and killed a woman and two men outside the Southwest Houston cabaret Diamond Club (formerly Scores). Trae, who had performed at a Juneteenth concert earlier that evening at a different club, and another man were wounded and taken to the hospital and later released.
Uvukansi was later arrested and charged with capital murder. According to the County Attorney's Office, Uvukansi is affiliated with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods.
"I don't know what started the shooting or who was targeted," said Trae, who sustained a bullet wound to the shoulder, in a statement he released to the media a few days after the incident. "I just know that the crowd of people started moving in my direction and we were basically all sitting ducks at that point. A case of wrong place, wrong time."
Houston Police said they believed Uvukansi's real target was the victim Coy Thompson, also known as "Poppa C." He and another man killed that night, Carlos Dorsey ("Dinky D"), were part of the inner circle of Trae's rap family Assholes by Nature.