Victims’ families offer reward for information in Cypress birthday party shootings

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by KHOU.com staff, Rucks Russell / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on November 13, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 7:54 PM

CYPRESS— The two victims’ families are offering a reward for information in the birthday party shooting that left their loved ones dead and 19 others injured last weekend in Cypress.

Both teenagers killed in Saturday night’s shooting were students at Morton Ranch High School. Arielle Shepherd, 17, was a 10th-grade student described by her mother as “ an angel” and a “social butterfly.” Qu’eric Danariu Richardson, 17, was a junior at Morton Ranch High School. 

Two fathers overcome by emotion visited the scene where their children were shot to make a desperate plea to people who witnessed the crime.

“Please come forward and say something,” said Terrance Shepherd, Arielle Shepherd’s father.

Qu-eric Guidry’s father spoke out as well.

“I ask them to think about their own fathers and mothers,” said Lawrence Guidry.

Both men were joined by a family advocate in front of the house where it happened.  

Authorities said more than a hundred people were inside when the gunfire erupted.  18 others were also shot.

Days later, only one person remains behind bars.  And that fact has prompted criticism of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

“What we want is real truth,“ said family advocate Quanell X. “We want real investigators who are seasoned on this case.”

The birthday party was advertised on the Internet.  A party insider said the shooting was part of a gang initiation.

And while social media may have helped create the chaos, KHOU 11 News has learned it could be hurting the investigation as well.  Threats have turned up on Twitter warning witnesses that they’d better not speak out.  And officials at the sheriff’s office blamed the so-called “no snitch” mentality for slowing things down.

“That makes it hard for us to do our job,” said Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Gilliland.  “When a crime is committed, we need witnesses.”

Those witnesses might be swayed by another reward.  Family members and their advocate are offering $2,000 to convince young people too frightened to speak out to come forward.

“We know that you believe in the no-snitch policy, but the no-snitch policy has no place,” said Quanell.

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