HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Deputies were searching for a killer overnight after a driver collided with another vehicle and then slammed into an east Harris County home.
Deputies said at first it seemed like a normal crash, but were surprised to find one of the drivers had been fatally shot.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said it was around 10 p.m. Thursday when a black Chrysler 300 and a small red sedan arrived at the intersection of Force Street and Nadolney Street. Both drivers flashed their lights, indicating the other driver should proceed through. Both cars tried to cross the intersection at the same time, and a collision occurred. The Chrysler 300 then slammed into a nearby home.
When paramedics arrived, they found the driver of the Chrysler, 30-year-old Chad Bowden, had been shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the red car, a woman, was sent to the hospital after complaining of chest pains.
Investigators are trying to find what happened.
“At this time we don’t know if he had been shot prior to the crash or if he had someone in the car with him that fled prior to the arrival of EMS,” said Sgt. Ben Beall.
Friends and family were in disbelief after learning of Bowden’s death.
“For somebody to take his life like that, it’s just ridiculous. This man has never caused conflict on anybody,” a close family friend said. “This man was an athlete; a good man.”
Bowden was the only son to his parents and a role model at Pleasantville Elementary. There, where he taught Physical Education and Health, he was affectionately known as “Mr. B.”
“He was young, energetic, charismatic and passionate about the work he was doing with our children at Pleasantville,” said Samuel Sarabia, chief school officer.
Loved ones said Bowden seemed to do everything right. He graduated from Prairie View A&M University on a basketball scholarship and coached neighborhood kids in his spare time.
“He was just a good kind of guy. You know, whatever you need, he was there,” said Dwayne Bowden, the victim’s uncle.
No one can say for sure where Bowden was last night or where he was headed. Without any known enemies, it was very unclear what led to his death.
Detectives don’t know when or where Chad Bowden was shot, but his family said he often jogged around Northshore High School for exercise at night. The high school is just a few blocks away from where he crashed.
His dad believes he may have been shot near the high school then drove away for help until he couldn’t drive anymore.
“I don’t see no reason nobody would want to harm him at a track,” his father Charles Bowden said of the Northshore High School location. “No. He never talked about no trouble.”
His friends described a young man passionate about helping children and passionate about his church and faith. The former high school and college basketball standout used the sport as an enticement to get troubled youth off the street.
“He brought his friends to a church,” a friend told us. “This is to let you know what kind of man he was. And for somebody to take his life like that it’s just ridiculous man.”
Reached at their home, just four miles from the scene of the crash, Chad Bowden’s parents bravely granted an interview to praise their son, talk about their faith and forgiveness for whoever killed their only child.
“I have forgiveness for the person that killed Chad. Chad’s soul was saved,” said his mom Gwen Bowden. “And I pray that the person that did kill Chad I pray that he comes to know Jesus and I have forgiveness for him too as well.”