SPRING, Texas -- Authorities are investigating a report of a disturbance Sunday night outside the memorial for a Spring High School student who was stabbed to death last week.
Seventeen-year-old Luis Alonzo Alfaro has been charged with Joshua Broussard’s murder and was booked into the Harris County Jail. He claims that he stabbed the victim, who was also 17, during a fight that started after they “bumped” into one another. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the altercation was “gang related.”
According to deputies, tensions escalated at Spring Baptist Church, which was packed full of people for a memorial honoring Broussard. The church is located in the 1000 block of Spring Cypress.
Alleged members of the Brown Pride Gang were escorted out of the church and then there were reports of a huge melee breaking out in the parking lot with up to eight gunshots fired.
“Everyone just got into a panic attack and started running..everybody was falling trying to duck..because somebody says they saw a gun," Taylor Harris, a friend of Broussard, said.
Harris said she and other attendees hid in a storage closet as people ran in every direction.
There were no reports of any injuries or arrests. HSCO and the Spring ISD Police are investigating the incident.
"Several gunshots were fired but no one was hit as of right now.. that we know of and no arrests have been made," Sgt. Milton Coker, with sheriff's office said.
Witnesses said the brawl involved as many as 40 people, interrupting a sacred moment in the remembrance of Broussard.
Deputies believe it started after an alleged Brown Pride member was seen inside the church.
"They had nothing to do up in here.. none of their people was in here…they’re the ones that took Joshua’s life.. they don’t belong up in here," Brandon Odom, a friend of Broussard, said.
“If somebody came to your funeral that killed you, your people would feel bad too. Everyone’s trying to come up in here. That’s disrespectful," another teen said.
Hours earlier, community leaders gathered outside Spring High School to address gang problems and the racial divide between African American and Latino students. Activists joined hands pleading for the tension to stop.
“Evidently, some smart crooked deceptive spirit has come into our community and come into our children and they have us thinking we’re so different we should be violent toward one another," Deric Muhammad, a community activist, said.
And on the eve of the first day back at school there’s proof that the fighting isn’t over.
"Hopefully, they’ll find God and find a way to make a better chance. Just pray for Spring and everybody that goes to Spring tomorrow morning," Joe Belir, a cousin of Broussard, said.
The pastor at Spring Baptist Church told KHOU 11 News that no shots were fired on the property and people on social media also disputed the allegations. Overall, a state of confusion surrounds the matter.