In connection with the Monday night shooting that left multiple people dead in Fort Worth’s Como area, police have arrested two individuals on multiple counts of murder. After the annual Fourth of July celebration in the Como area southwest of downtown Fort Worth, some hundred people were still milling about along Horne Street well before midnight on Tuesday.
At about 11:47 p.m., someone opened fire on the throng, wounding eight and killing three. Paul Willis, 18, Gabriella Navarrete, 18, and Cynthia Santos, 22 years old, have been named as the victims. They survived, thank God. Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes described the killings as “violent and senseless.“
Two men have been detained and charged with murder, according to reports from the Fort Worth Police Department. They are Brandon Williams, 19, and Christopher Redic, 20, both of whom have been photographed. Records show that Redic and Williams were both booked into the municipal jail on Friday, with Redic arriving just before noon and Williams arriving around one hour later.
`The tweet below verifies the news:
Officers arrested Christopher Redic, 20, and Brandon Williams, 19, Friday and charged them with murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, police sources say. https://t.co/Ltna1lVODn
— KVUE News (@KVUE) July 8, 2023
Whether or if the men have hired lawyers to represent them is unclear at this time. At a press conference on Friday afternoon, Chief Noakes indicated that there had been an argument before the shooting. According to Noakes, the investigation suggests the violence was gang-related.
“Our gang unit worked really hard because we do believe this was gang-related. From their expertise and experience with the entire city of Fort Worth, we’re able to work with the homicide unit,” he said. “We had officers pouring over video over and over again to collect even the slightest bit of evidence they could.”
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Noakes noted that the tradition of holding the event had been going on for decades, and that city officials planned to take measures to make the event safer in the future, such as limiting post-event street parties. On Friday, he sent a message to the world’s youth.
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“There is so much more to live for. There is so much more value that should be placed, not only on the lives of the potential victims but on themselves as well,” he said. “It seems as though the only conflict resolution skills some are using involve a gun. It doesn’t matter how minor an altercation may be, someone pulls out a gun. Maybe someone else pulls out a gun, and it ends in death and tragedy.”
On Friday night, members of the community and local authorities gathered in front of the historic courthouse on East Weatherford Street to light candles in memory of the victims. The families of 21-year-old Billy Smith and Gabriella Navarrete, who were among the three died in Como this week, were present.
It has been confirmed that Smith was the second individual shot and killed by police on Wednesday morning. At the event, community leaders tried to soothe mourning families while simultaneously calling for action to reduce gun violence. “Nobody has all the answers but if we sit down at a table and communicate, then we can begin this process of healing,” Lee Muhammad said.
The victims of the shooting on July 3 and the surrounding community have access to a list of resources compiled by the National Mass Violence Resource Center. This link provides additional details.
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