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Family, neighbors march for justice and change after boy murdered

On Sunday community members on the near north side of Houston showed their commitment to work with police to help find the real killer of 11-year-old Josue Flores.

Flores was stabbed to death walking on his way home from school last week.

“Justice for my son, Josue Flores, now!” demanded Juan Flores, Sr., Josue’s father, in Spanish, outside the family’s home Sunday afternoon.

More than 100 people joined Flores in that call, marching the same streets where the person who stabbed his son to death still walks.

"We want the right guy to be caught cause we don't want the same thing to happen to another kid like my brother,” said Guadalupe Flores, Josue’s older sister.

On Friday, murder charges were dropped against former suspect Che Calhoun after surveillance footage proved he was in Pearland at the time of the murder.

While police will test for DNA on a black shirt matching the description of the suspect’s shirt, (given to police by a neighbor who found it a few blocks away) but so far, HPD says that lead hasn't led to anything solid.

Many neighbors speculate the killer is homeless, and on Sunday, the march made its way to the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center just a few blocks away from where Flores was murdered.

Many of the marchers called on the Salvation Army, both in person and in an online change.org petition, to tighten the rules for people staying in that homeless shelter and to eventually move the shelter out of the neighborhood.

However, some in the neighborhood worried about alienating a group of people they say could be a huge help in finding Flores’ killer.

"We don't need to push 'em away cause that's what we did,” one man told the crowd outside of the shelter. “That's why we don't got nothing right now. We need their help."

The march passed Josue's school and a moment of silence was held in front of the field where he used to play soccer. The march ended at the family's home nearby.

"The community, it's more than amazing,” said Juan Flores, Jr., Josue’s older brother, outside the home. “I will forever be in their debt."

The family and neighbors released balloons towards the heavens where Josue's father says his son now rests in peace.

“My son is with Jesus Christ,” said Juan Flores, Sr., in Spanish, after the balloon release.

Josue Flores’ brother ended the march with a message to the person who took his brother’s life.

"Turn yourself in,” said Juan Flores, Jr. “That's the best thing you can do right now. Just turn yourself in."

A wake for Josue will be held Monday from 1-8 p.m. at La Paz Memorial Funeral Home, located at 7902 Nordling Rd. in Houston.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Holy Name Catholic Church, located at 1917 Cochran St. in Houston.

Late Sunday afternoon, Sybil Sanchez, a spokesperson for the Salvation Army of Greater Houston, said big changes were coming to the shelter on Monday and released the following statement on behalf of the organization.

“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of Josue Flores. We join our community in wanting Justice for Josue. We have heard the concerns and want our neighbors to know that we have been working, and will continue to work, with the community and the City to make the neighborhood a safe place to live.

As of tomorrow, Monday, May 23rd, we will make the following change to our Red Shield Lodge homeless emergency shelter: men staying overnight will no longer be asked to leave the Harbor Light Center. Unless they have a job or an appointment to go to, they will remain on our property for the remainder of the week in order to be connected to programs and services. Any man who leaves without a valid reason, will not be allowed to return to the shelter.

This will let the community know that any man out on the streets is NOT a client being served by The Salvation Army's Harbor Light Center & Red Shield Lodge.

As we are already doing, we will continue to work with the community and the City to make appropriate changes to continue to serve our clients and be better neighbors.

The Salvation Army is here to help those most in need and be part of the solution for issues such as homelessness.”

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