Andre Timothy Jackson, Jr. has been arrested in connection with the death of 11-year-old Josue Flores. The sixth-grader was fatally stabbed last month while walking home from school.
“We cannot bring him back, but I hope today’s announcement can perhaps bring a little bit of comfort to those who love him,” Houston mayor Sylvester Turner said on Saturday. “Our minds search for answers that just aren’t there. What we do know is it was senseless, it was brutal, it was cold-blooded. And someone needs to pay the price for it and justice needs to be rendered.”
On Friday afternoon, police captured Jackson in downtown Houston and charged him with murder, announced Turner. He is currently sitting in a Harris County Jail on $100,000 bond.
According to authorities, Jackson has no obvious connection with Josue Flores and no motive for the killing has been established. Jackson, who was discharged from the Marines in 2011, was living at the Houston Salvation Army, a 10-minute walk from where Josue was killed.
“We want to try to understand something that we cannot understand,” said Turner. “Why would someone stab to death an 11-year-old boy who was walking home from school?”
Several days ago, police were looking for a “person of interest” that appeared on a 36-second surveillance video. Time-stamped four minutes after the attack of Flores, the footage showed a man dressed in a green jacket running down a street not far from the crime scene.
The video, which was released to the public on Thursday, prompted a tip about a second video. According to Lieutenant John McGalin, the second video led police to the arrest of Jackson.
“People didn’t know what they had until we went and knocked on their door and actually caught them at home. We pieced it together. We believe we know the track that the suspect walked.”
During a press conference on Saturday, McGalin told reporters that authorities firmly believe Jackson is the perpetrator that killed Flores. The suspect’s alibi could not be verified and several statements made by the 27-year-old coincided with information already known about the murder. The jacket that appears in the first video was also found in Jackson’s possession.
The homeless vet has a criminal history that includes two misdemeanor offenses, trespassing and illegally carrying a gun. Jackson faces up to 99 years in prison if convicted of Josue’s murder.
Just days after the killing, police arrested and charged another man with the young boy’s murder. Che LaJuan Calhoun was initially accused of the crime based on eyewitness testimony, but was ultimately released after investigators were able to confirm his alibi. He was more than 20 miles away when Josue was fatally stabbed.
Josue Flores was walking home alone from a science club party at Marshall Middle School around 4:40 p.m. on May 17 when he was killed. The boy, who often talked about someday becoming a doctor, was carrying a backpack full of textbooks, but no electronic devices or even a cellphone. He was only two blocks away from home.
Just after the attack, several witnesses told police they saw Josue struggling against a man. Moments later, Flores collapsed to the ground and the man ran away. Emergency responders rushed the young student to the local hospital, but he later died from multiple stab wounds.
During the investigation, a knife was found on May 25 in a storm drain several blocks from the crime scene. However, police do not believe the item is related to the crime.
Now that Andre Timothy Jackson, Jr. is under arrest for the killing of Josue Flores, officials have to decide how to pay out the $45,000 information reward. Harris County prosecutors are confident there is enough evidence to guarantee a conviction of the ex-Marine.
[Photo by Houston Police Department/AP Images]