A teenager suspected of killing a man committed suicide while turning himself in on Feb. 21, after his mother urged him to give himself up to authorities.
The suspect, an unidentified 17-year-old boy in Katy, Texas, confessed to murder before pulling out a gun and shooting himself in the head in the presence of his mother and a sheriff’s deputy, according to the Associated Press. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and died later that day.
The victim he confessed to killing was 25-year-old Army veteran James Ayala, who was dating the same girl as the teenage suspect. When the suspect received a call from his girlfriend, in which she told him that she was seeing another man, he got into an altercation with Ayala, which ended in the suspect pulling out a gun and fatally shooting Ayala.
When the teenager’s mother found out what had happened, she told him to turn himself in, and managed to convince him to drive to the sheriff’s substation several hours after the shooting took place. It was there, in the parking lot of the station, that the suspect shot himself after admitting that he had killed someone, notes Washington Post.
"She's obviously destroyed because she just witnessed her son commit suicide in front of her," said Harris County sheriff's Sgt. Cedrick Collier.
The sergeant who witnessed the shooting, according to Collier, has been placed on administrative leave so he can "clear his head and make sure he's OK.”
Ayala, according to his friend and fellow veteran Jordan Downhour, had served in Iraq and was stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia before leaving the Army as a corporal E-4 several years ago. He was a father of five and a “standout guy in the Army,” Downhour said.
The suspect accused of killing him was described by neighbor Aaron Summerour as having been “mixed up with the wrong crowd,” although it looked like he was starting to see some improvement prior to the incident. The teenager attended Morton Ranch High School.