Former Texas A&M linebacker, Antonio Armstrong, and his wife, Dawn, were allegedly murdered by their teenage son early Friday morning, according to the Washington Post.
The 16-year-old son, who has not been identified by authorities because he is a juvenile, is accused of fatally shooting his parents at the family’s Houston home. Two other children, including an elder son and a younger daughter, were reportedly present at the time of the shooting, but neither of them suffered any injuries.
The motive for the shooting remained unclear even as investigators charged the the 16-year-old with the murder of his parents. Investigators, however, found a note reading “I’ve been watching you” next to the gun allegedly used in the crime.
The shooter’s siblings, as well as other members of the Armstrong extended family, could not believe that one of the sons had killed the parents. Horrified at the tragedy, Dawn Armstrong’s cousin, Vaun Lee, told ABC Houston that there were no hints along the way that could have made the family anticipate something so shattering was about to happen.
“They kept them [the children] busy and they supported them in everything that they did. There was not any mark that they missed with their children…
“There was nothing left out. There was no neglect or anything, nothing that could even possibly justify the situation. This makes no sense. No sense.”
Law enforcement officers and investigators working on the crime were left equally shocked by the turn of events, with Houston police homicide investigator Jimmy Dodson saying that Antonio Armstrong, his wife, and their three children represented everything good about America.
“This was an outstanding family. The male of the family was an absolute hard working breadwinner. He was an associate pastor in the area church. He’s a great guy. The mother was apparently a great mother, according to family members. Like I said, it was kind of the all-American family.”
Texas A&M issued a statement Friday saying Antonio Armstrong played with the Aggies for three years in the early 1990s and was a cornerstone of the A&M “Wrecking Crew” defense, reports Fox News. Antonio was named first-team Associated Press All-America linebacker in 1994 and was subsequently drafted by the San Francisco 49ers a year later.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Antonio Armstrong and his family, his old teammates and the entire Aggie family,” Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin said after learning about the couple’s demise. “Our strength coach Larry Jackson was a teammate of Antonio’s and thought the world of him. This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts are broken.”
Former Aggies Coach R.C. Slocum said Armstrong was a very special young person who liked motivating people and always had a smile on his face.
“Antonio was a special young man. He was an All-American and an outstanding player, but he was an even better person. He was such a positive influence on his teammates. He always had a big smile and was a joy to coach.”
After an abrupt ankle fracture in a training camp ended his career, Armstrong launched a successful business, ran a popular gym called First Class Training in the nearby town of Bellaire, and became the assistant pastor at his mother’s church. He also became a motivational speaker and a mentor for young people, and was known to be popular among his friends and family.
Just a couple of hours before Armstrong was shot, he uploaded the following video on his YouTube channel, which he had started only a month ago. On the channel, Antonio used to upload uplifting videos aimed at encouraging young people to chase their dreams.
[Image via Shutterstock]