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Man killed teen who intervened in hostage scene at Sunnyside store

A teenager who was shot dead Monday night as he tried to rescue people held hostage by a gunman at a Sunnyside convenience store had moved last year to Houston from Milwaukee to escape gun violence.

Andrell Lamon, 17, was outside Greenlight Convenience Store on Scott Street when a commotion broke out. The teen had probably walked the two blocks from his home to get snacks, said Jessica Martin, his aunt. 

Instead, he encountered a chaotic scene.

A man later identified as Al Vernon Brown Jr. walked into the store shortly before 10 p.m. and pulled out two pistols, according to the Houston Police Department.

The 47-year-old man, yelling and screaming, ordered a handful of customers and employees to get on the ground and lock the door. He threatened to shoot anyone who dared leave. 

It was then that Lamon entered the store, according to police. He pointed a pistol at Brown and demanded that he release the hostages. 

But the gunman opened fire, striking Lamon in the torso. The teen collapsed outside the store. Police said paramedics transported him to a hospital where he died. 

Martin said she believes her nephew got the firearm from another person outside the store and volunteered to confront the assailant when no one else appeared to be taking action. Lamon did not own a gun, she said. 

“My nephew told them, ‘I’m not scared, give me the gun,'” Martin said. 

His aunt said the teen deserves to be recognized for his bravery and sacrifice, although the family is grappling to understand why he confronted the gunman. 

“I have no idea what made him do this,” she said. “I don’t believe we’ll ever really know … he really sacrificed his life for these people.” 

When police showed up at the shooting scene, Brown dropped his weapons and the hostages escaped from the store. Officers arrested the gunman. 

He has since been charged in Harris County district court with murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault against a public servant, according to court records. He is being held on a combined $650,000 bail. 

His motive remains unclear, investigators said, though it does not appear to be a robbery. 

The day before the shooting, Brown was charged with his second DWI and released on a general order bond, according to court records. Since 2002, he has been convicted of driving with a suspended license, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, DWI and unlawful weapon carry. 

The slain teenager was the eldest of six children, according to his aunt. He helped his working mother by looking after his four brothers and baby sister, she said. 

His mother recently took classes and opened a trucking business to help her sons get established with work, said Martin, a local entrepreneur who owns a credit repair business and DR Martin Transport, a trucking company.

Source: on 2021-09-29 14:06:40

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