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Nimitz High School sophomore identified as girl found shot dead in Humble-area home, family says

When deputies arrived, they said they heard a gunshot and then screaming, investigators said.

HUMBLE, Texas — A 16-year-old girl was shot and killed as she was being held captive by her mother’s boyfriend in an Humble-area home early Friday, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect, 60-year-old Van Brisbon, was arrested after surrendering to deputy constables at the scene.

Family members have identified the victim as 16-year-old Lauren Juma. She was a sophomore at Nimitz High School. The family says she'd just joined the cheer squad. 

"She had a beautiful soul and just wanted to go out and enjoy life," said her sister, Keryca Harmon.

This all started just after 1 a.m. when Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constables responded to a weapons disturbance when Harmon called and said her mother’s boyfriend was holding her 16-year-old sister captive inside their home. The residence is in the 20400 block of Canton Trace near FM 1960 and Lee Road.

"She just wanted to get away, that's all she wanted," said Harmon. "She just said he was being really weird and wanted me to pick her up."

When deputies arrived, they said they heard a gunshot and then screaming, investigators said. The deputies then heard a second shot shortly after.

Deputies said the 60-year-old suspect came out of the home and told them, “Do what you have to do.” 

He was then taken into custody and was not cooperating with deputies, HCSO said. He is now in the Harris County Jail and charged with murder.

The deputies then went inside the home and found the 16-year-old dead from an apparent gunshot wound, investigators said. She and the suspect were the only ones inside the home at the time of the shooting.

Investigators said the mother of the victim was out of town at work when the incident happened but has since returned.

She spoke to KHOU 11 News about her daughter's murder. 

"I just know my baby called me, Facetimed me and she said, 'mom, help me,'" said her mother, Laurie Young, choking back tears. "That's the last time I heard her voice."

Young says she doesn't understand how this happened. She'd been in a relationship with the suspect for five years. 

"He treated Lauren like she was his baby," said Young. "I don't understand. He can rot in jail. He had no reason to take my baby's life."

"We do know the mother was out of town, she has since returned. She immediately came back. We do have information that she had been on the phone with the 16-year-old prior to her murder," Sgt. Dennis Wolfford with the Harris County Sherriff’s Office Homicide Unit said.

Homicide investigators are getting a search warrant for the home since the suspect, who resides there, is not cooperating with their investigation.

If you'd like to support the family with funeral costs, they have set up a GoFundMe campaign.

Family and friends held a vigil Friday night in Juma's honor.

Aldine ISD released the following statement in regards to Lauren Juma's death:

"This morning, the district was notified of the death of one of our Nimitz High School students who passed away early Friday morning. We are deeply saddened to hear of her passing.

"Our community mourns her passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, loved ones and friends during this very difficult time.

"Counselors and the district’s crisis team have been mobilized to respond to this tragic event and will be available to students and staff to assist them during this difficult time."

KHOU 11 on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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