Houston-area boy fatally shot as he walks to car at complex

HOUSTON (AP) — Authorities on Friday were investigating the death of a child who was fatally shot in the parking lot of his Houston-area apartment complex.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the child, believed to be either 11 or 12 years old, had walked from his apartment to his family’s car to get something when several shots were fired around 7 p.m. Thursday.

The boy’s family found him on the ground when he didn’t return to their northeast Harris County apartment, Gonzalez said.

The child was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

Gonzalez said that gun violence was a big problem his agency dealt with last year but “we’ve actually started the year doing pretty well. We’ve had very little gun violence related to children so far in the first month.”

Gonzalez said authorities hoped Thursday’s shooting was not the start of another trend.

“We don’t want it to be like last year where we responded to hundreds of scenes ... where juveniles had been shot. That is unacceptable,” Gonzalez said.

On Wednesday, Houston’s mayor announced a $44 million plan to tackle violent crime in the nation’s fourth-largest city, particularly a rise in homicides.