HOUSTON — After a young man set to gradate college this spring was killed in a hit-and-run crash, Houston police are still searching for his alleged killers almost two months later.
Investigators have reason to believe the driver intentionally struck Justin Ortiz, 23, during an incident about 6:35 p.m. on June 27 in the Fifth Ward area.
The victim and his friends were riding motorcycles along Lockwood Drive and were struck while crossing over the East Freeway, police said.
According to officers, a blue BMW hit one of Ortiz’s friends, and then a black Chevrolet Tahoe struck Ortiz. Neither vehicle stopped to render aid.
The friend wasn’t seriously injured, but Ortiz was pronounced dead at the scene.
“He was an amazing human being, son and older brother,” Ortiz’ mother said.
She said her son was scheduled to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing at the University of Houston-Downtown in May 2021.
The Justin Ortiz Memorial Scholarship, which supports other marketing students, has been set up in his honor.
The family is trying to raise $10,000 so that the scholarship can be endowed and perpetual. Donations can be made at uhd.edu/give by entering "Justin Ortiz Memorial Scholarship" or "Marilyn Davies College of Businesses" in the gifts instructions field.
Houston police and the victim's family are asking the public for help.
The Houston Police Department released screenshots of the vehicles. The family said the BMW has damage to the driver’s side and a busted taillight. The Tahoe also has damage to the front passenger side, they said.
Anyone with information on the identities of the drivers should to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).
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