HOUSTON — While most people were celebrating the New Year, the family of Cecil Brown was planning a funeral.
The 35-year-old was shot and killed outside the Seaside Lounge on Sunday night, according to Houston Police.
Police said Brown was in a fight with people inside the bar before 8 p.m. He walked out of the bar and as he was driving away, someone shot and killed him.
"My heart was literally breaking as I was watching him dying," Brown's sister said.
Brown was the father of two girls.
"I’m not going to get to hug him again. I’m not going to get to tell him I love him one last time. He’s not going to get to see the baby," said Brown's sister. "To have her cry and say, ‘Auntie, I just want my daddy back. I just want my daddy.’ It makes me remember when we were kids when we lost our parents."
She asked to have her name withheld because the suspect or suspects are still on the loose.
Houston Police have not released the details of their investigation yet, but Brown's sister said the fight began when Brown went to check on family members that had been invited to sit at a table with a group of men they had just met.
Brown's sister said Brown and the other men exchanged words, the fight broke out, and one man hit Brown in the head with a bottle of tequila.
"I can’t just pick up a bottle and hit you in the head and not expect a repercussion. I don’t care where we are. That’s a crime," said Brown's sister.
She believes that if one of the security guards or Houston Police officers that were on site at the time had intervened, her brother might still be alive.
A spokesperson for Seaside Lounge said their only knowledge of the incident was based on witness accounts. The spokesperson said it appeared the fight was broken up quickly by fellow patrons, and that both parties voluntarily went outside before security or HPD officers could intervene.
"Security never escorted them outside," the spokesperson said. "The incident happened so fast that by the time officers got outside, shots had already been fired."
Another spokesperson said they have made changes to the bar's security since the incident, including: hiring a new security company, increasing the number of security guards present, adding surveillance cars to the parking lots, and adding four more Houston Police Officers to bring the total to 6 on site during business hours.
She said the venue intends to donate proceeds from Wednesday's food sales to the family's funeral fund.
"We have increased our valet team to assist with the parking along with the traffic concerns. There will also be a new business casual dress code; which will be enforced immediately," that spokesperson wrote in a statement. "We are a new establishment and we understand that we will have to continue to improve on all aspects of business and are willing to put in the effort and time to ensure the safety of our customers and neighbors at all times."
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