A 6-year-old Texas girl was fatally shot by a family friend during a row over a clogged toilet.
Raymeon Means, 35, has been charged with capital murder for allegedly shooting the young girl – identified in reports by her mother as Laurionne Walker – at an apartment complex in Pasadena on Friday.
The heartbreaking incident was triggered by an argument about water spilling out from a backed-up toilet, according to police.
“The toilet was stopped up and the water spilled out, so it was overflowing and that was what set him off I guess,” Pasadena police spokeswoman Jessica Ramirez told The New York Post Monday.
Contrary to some reports, Means was not related to the victim, Ramirez said, adding that Means’ sister and the girl’s mother were such close friends that people mistook them for family members.
Means’ sister had been taking care of the girl at the mother’s apartment while the latter attended a vigil for a woman and three children killed in a car crash in Spring the previous weekend. The girl’s mother was the aunt of the three young victims, KTRK reported.
A resident in the apartment complex told KPRC that he saw Means moments before the shooting.
“He knocked on the door and he was like, ‘Oh, can you check if you have water coming down because the little girl clogged the toilet’,” neighbor Maurico Alvarez said.
Soon after Means left, the neighbors heard arguing, Alvarez recalled.
“He went running upstairs and we heard like four, five shots and he started running, and we started hearing screams,” Alvarez told the outlet.
Laurionne was taken to Bayshore Hospital, where was pronounced dead, police said.
Means fled the scene of the shooting but was arrested later that day.
A GoFundMe page set up for Laurionne’s funeral had raised over $16,000 as of Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, a grieving family are struggling to come to terms with a senseless tragedy.
“I’m at a loss for words right now, I’m still choked up right now,” Laurionne’s grandmother Earline House told KPRC. “My granddaughter was still a baby. She got shot twice in the chest this morning.”
Though a US citizen, Means is originally from Haiti. He was denied bond Sunday during a probable cause hearing on the capital murder charge, KTRK reported.
He could face the death penalty if convicted, but it’s not yet clear whether prosecutors plan to push for that punishment.