Charissa Powell, 3, Bayou Body Count No. 68

Someone gunned down a 3-year-old Charissa Powell, and police have vowed to catch the killer.

It all went down on Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of the Live Oak Bend apartments in north Houston. The father and his two kids -- a daughter, 3, and son, 1 -- were getting into their car, police say, when a man walked up to him demanding the keys to the car.

At first, the father thought it was some kind of a joke. Quickly, though, he realized he was being car-jacked.

The father scrambled to get his kids out of the car, police say, but when he did, the gunman started firing.

Powell was shot in the chest; bullet fragments struck her younger brother.

Police say the shooter fled after firing his gun and that he drove off in a light-colored mid-1990s Buick LeSabre, which was waiting for him.

Meanwhile, the father of the wounded children got behind the wheel of his car and started driving toward a hospital, when he flagged down an officer on the Sam Houston Parkway, who called for an ambulance. When the family got to the hospital, the man's daughter was pronounced dead. His son, police say, is going to live. 

UPDATE: With the help of community activist Quanell X, police have arrested the suspected shooter, 24-year-old Alton Charles Barnes. He has been charged with capital murder and is behind bars at the Harris County jail without bond. Police say they are still on the hunt for the second suspect.



View Larger Map


Anyone with information about this case can call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Vogel
Contact: Chris Vogel