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Stepfather of 15-year-old girl: 'Whoever shot this girl 22 times in the back ... they are cowards'

"Whoever shot this girl ... they are cowards," Diamond Alvarez's stepfather said.

HOUSTON — Friends and family members want answers after a 15-year-old girl was gunned down near a southwest Houston park on Tuesday night.

What happened

Diamond Alvarez was walking the family dog around 9:30 p.m. when her family members who were at home heard gunshots ring out. When the family dog showed up without Diamond, they knew something was terribly wrong.

RELATED: 'I couldn’t bring her back' | Family devastated after teen girl shot, killed while walking her dog

"Our dog came back by himself and that's not normal," Diamond's mother, Anna Machado, said. "So, I called my daughter but she didn't answer."

Machado said she and other family members ran out of the house to find Diamond.

"My son found her," Machado said. "I tried so hard to keep her alive. I couldn't ... I couldn't."

Machado said she performed CPR on Diamond but the 15-year-old Madison High School sophomore died at the scene in the 15400 block of Park Manor Street, which is near South Post Oak and Beltway 8.

Family wants answers

Diamond's stepfather, Tito Mozzygamba, said he can't believe something like this could happen to such a good kid. He said she was a straight-A student who loved to play volleyball and basketball. She had dreams of becoming a cosmetologist.

"Whoever shot this girl 22 times in the back ... they are cowards," Mozzygamba said.

Houston police haven't confirmed how many times Diamond was shot, but did say she was hit multiple times. Police have not released a motive or description of any suspects. Police did say preliminary information is that a dark-colored suspect vehicle drove away on Parkwood Drive. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Houston Police Department or Crime Stoppers.

Diamond's family said they don't think the shooting was random and they also said Diamond's phone was taken.

Memorial to honor Diamond

A memorial was created for Diamond at the place where she died. Her friends and family are still trying to wrap their heads around what happened.

"We went to middle school together. It's just sad how in seconds anybody could be gone," one of Diamond's friends said.

"How can something like this happen?" another friend said.

HISD statement

Houston ISD released the following statement:

"HISD grieves the loss of a Madison High School student who died Tuesday while off-campus. We offer our deepest sympathy to the student’s family, friends and the entire school community. Counselors have been made available to support students and staff at this difficult time. They will remain available for as long as they are needed."

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