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November 11, 2013

Authorities: 2 charged in Texas party shootings

HOUSTON — Two suspects have been charged in connection with a shooting at a house party in suburban Houston that left two teenagers dead and injured 19 others, authorities announced Monday.

However, court documents indicate the deadly shooting might not have started as a result of celebratory gunfire as initially indicated by law enforcement officials. Instead it apparently began when the suspects shot at two individuals before then firing into the crowd.

Willie Young, 21, and Randy Stewart, 18, were arrested Monday morning, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office. Young is charged with deadly conduct, while Stewart is charged with aggravated assault. Bail for each suspect was set at $250,000. Court records did not indicate whether Young or Stewart has an attorney.

The victim killed at the scene has been identified as 17-year-old Qu'eric Richardson. The name of the other victim, a 16-year-old girl who died at a hospital, has not been released.

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia had previously said Saturday's shooting in Cypress, an unincorporated area about 25 miles northwest of Houston, began when someone fired a pistol in the air in celebration. In the ensuing confusion, someone else began firing into the crowd, causing people to flee into the narrow street, Garcia said. Officials said more than 100 people were at the party, which was promoted openly on several social media sites.

But according to probable cause affidavits for Young and Stewart, two of the people at the party say the suspects initially began firing at them.

Dominic Adams said that after Stewart entered the home, Stewart "pulled out a handgun, pointed it at him and discharged the weapon."

Adams "was struck in the arm. (Adams) stated that the defendant began randomly shooting into the crowd," according to Stewart's probable cause affidavit.

The affidavit related to Young presented as similar scenario. Jamario Wilson, another partygoer, told investigators that he saw Young in the home's living room when Young pulled out a handgun and began firing in his direction. Wilson said that Young also began "randomly shooting" into the crowd. It didn't appear that Wilson was injured.

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