On Feb. 21, a Texas teenager killed himself after his mother allegedly forced him into confessing to police that he shot his girlfriend’s military veteran lover.
The young man, who is unidentified, was reportedly involved in fatally shooting 25-year-old veteran James Ayala, after discovering his girlfriend was romantically linked to the man. Ayala was the father of five children.
There are conflicting reports about whether the teen murder suspect is 17 or 18 years old.
Upon learning what her son did, his mother reportedly turned him into police.
“She’s obviously destroyed because she just witnessed her son commit suicide in front of her,” Sgt. Cedrick Collier told the Associated Press, according to The Washington Post.
"And (her son) stepped out of the vehicle, with a handgun, placed it to his head and pulled the trigger," Collier said, according to KHOU.
The boy was rushed to the hospital but did not make it.
Darian Mitchell, the boy’s friend and a witness to the crime, said the teen asked his girlfriend and Ayala to come to talk upon learning he was being cheated on.
"He was like, 'What are y'all doing?' and she said, 'I'm cheating on you right now,'" Mitchell told KHOU. "He got so mad so he kept yelling. He told her and her boyfriend to come meet us, to talk."
That's when the teen shot Ayala, according to Mitchell.
“When he shot him, his girlfriend started screaming and then he ran,” Mitchell said. "And then he shot again, and then everyone started coming out and screaming.”
Neighbors were shocked by the incident.
"He sounded like he was doing good," neighbor Aaron Summerour said of the teen. "He had a job, he was getting his car. He had everything together and now that I hear this, it's unreal, you know what I mean?"
“It's a very peaceful neighborhood,” Mohammad Qureshi added. “Everybody knows everybody else. We live just like a family, but i don't know what happened today.”
Ayala was described by friend Jordan Downhour as a “standout guy in the Army.”
“He took me under his wing and picked me up in Brigade,” Downhour told the Houston Chronicle, according to The Post. "He showed me all the ropes. I wish he would’ve stayed in. I think this wouldn’t have happened.”