On Saturday Houston police announced that the man suspected of fatally stabbing 11-year-old Josue Flores has been arrested and charged.
Police arrested Andre Timothy Jackson Jr., 27, on Friday afternoon at the Salvation Army Men's Center, less than a ten-minute walk from the site where Flores was killed at Fulton and James Street around 4:40 p.m. on May 17. The 11-year-old was on his way home from a science club party at Marshall Middle School.
Jackson, police say, is a homeless veteran, discharged from the Marines in 2011, who had been living at the Salvation Army shelter since mid-April. Investigators say they are certain Jackson is the man seen on a surveillance video running north from the site of Flores's murder. The tape was timestamped four minutes after police believe Flores was killed. After they released the footage and photos Thursday, they began receiving a flurry of tips along with additional surveillance footage that led them to Jackson, they said at the press conference.
They brought Jackson in for questioning, but police would not provide any details Saturday on what he said or whether he admitted to the crime. They did say, however, that they found the distinctive jacket that Jackson was wearing on surveillance in his possession at Salvation Army, and that many of his statements matched up with other evidence they had been collecting for weeks.
Jackson's criminal history includes two misdemeanor offenses — trespassing and unlawful carry of a gun last May. He is currently being held on a $100,000 bond for the murder charge. Because it is not a capital case, he faces five to 99 years or life in prison.
Police say they still do not know the motive.
"We want to try to understand something that we cannot understand," said Mayor Sylvester Turner, who came to the press conference. "Why would someone stab to death an 11-year-old boy who was walking home from school? Why would someone take this child away from everyone who loves him? And why was a young life cut so short? Our minds search for answers that just aren't there. All we know is that it was senseless, it was brutal, it was cold-blooded, and someone needs to pay the price."
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said she is confident prosecutors have enough evidence to secure a conviction. Given that police originally arrested the wrong suspect based on faulty eyewitness identification, the public and Josue Flores's family can only hope she is right.
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