A Texas son died attempting to protect his mother from an armed robber Monday night, according to the Houston Police Department.
James Weldon Ecford, 25, and his mother, who is a resident of the Sands Point Condominiums in the Sharpstown market area, were arriving home late on Monday night when the incident took place in the parking lot of the condo. Police say that Ecford had already gone inside when he heard his mother cry for help, who was still parking the car outside.
Realizing his mother was in some sort of danger, the Texas son rushed outside to protect his mother. Police say an armed robber was attempting to snatch his mother's purse, and Ecford tried to stop him, which is when a struggle ensued between the two.
At some point during the scuffle, the robber pulled out a gun and shot the son in the head, according to KHOU. The suspect also fired a shot at the mother -- which missed her -- before getting into a compact car with three other suspects and speeding away.
All four suspects are still at large.A neighbor who saw the son's dead body told reporters that she will forever be haunted by what she saw.
"I heard two shots, and it was about 11:15. It was right outside my front door. I opened my door – and the body was right there."Another neighbor Jaime Mendoza told KPRC that the mother was left regretting her decision to have called for help.
"She (the mom) was crying, 'I should have just let them have my purse,'" said Mendoza.
The mother was not injured in the incident, but family members who rushed to the hospital with the son said that the doctors announced him dead on arrival.
The son, who the relatives said was close to his parents, lived in a condo on his own some distance from his mother' condo. The family had lived in the complex since before the son was born.Ecford's father, James Ecford Sr., said his son was a creative human being and a dutiful son who had a degree in graphic design and took art classes. He said his son did not do drugs and had never been involved with any gangs.
"My son has never, ever. And when you look it up there's no criminal record, there's no nothing. No drugs, all he did was be himself and he will never be that again. Forever 25 (years old)."The father said that his son was supposed to go for an interview following the night he was killed. "[An] art instructor that was giving him more details, more depth in his art, had found him an opportunity and today he was supposed to go to that interview," Ecford Sr. said.
This is the second time in as many months that a young man has been killed attempting to save his mother. According to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, Jesus Ricardo Hernandez was also shot in the head while attempting to protect his mother from an abusive boyfriend back in February.
The tragic loss of these young men who were both attempting to save their mothers from unprovoked attacks speaks volumes about their character, and while the Texas son will not come back to life, his mother will hope his assailants are caught for cutting short a life that had so much promise.
[Image via Shutterstock]