A man accused of killing a 13-year-old girl after a road rage incident told police he fired his gun in self defense.
Richard Calderon, 24, is in the Harris County Jail facing murder charges. His bond is set at $50,000.
Police say Calderon shot Alexis Wiley, the daughter of a TSU police officer, in the head as she was on her way home from a high school basketball game.
The fatal shooting happened late Wednesday in the 14000 block of Fleetwell in southwest Houston.
Police said the victim had just left the game and was riding in the backseat of her mother’s car when a Cadillac ran a stop sign and hit them.
Investigators said the Cadillac, driven by Calderon, kept going after the crash. Wiley’s mother decided to follow the suspect down Fleetwell to get a license plate number.
As the mom followed, police said Calderon turned around, got behind the mother’s car, pulled out a gun and opened fire.
Wiley was shot at least once in the back of the head. She was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital but doctors weren't able to save her.
Wiley's classmates at HISD's Johnston Middle School were shocked Thursday to hear that she had died.
"It's been a really sad atmosphere here and everybody misses her," said Mia Delafuente, an 8th-grader at Johnston. "Everyone knew her as the goofy, fun girl."
Nearly 100 students talked with grief counselors at the school Thursday.
Family friends described Wiley as a teen who lit up the room.
"She did not deserve to die like this,” said family friend Deboroah Solomon, known to Wiley as "Aunt Dede." “She's only a child. I do forgive him for taking a life and may God have mercy on his soul."
Another teen passenger and Wiley's mother were not hit, police said.
"It doesn’t look like the victims did anything to bring on the shooting. They didn’t participate in any way in any kind of violent act. They were just trying to pursue the person that struck their vehicle and get the information off that vehicle," Sgt. Robert Torres of HPD Homicide said.
Investigators were able to get a description and the license plate number of Calderon’s vehicle from Wiley’s mother.
A short time later, they said they found Calderon at his home, which is near the site of the shooting. According to police, Calderon told them he did something bad. They found a gun inside his home.
Calderon does not have a criminal history, and he has a concealed hangun license.
In a written statement, TSU Police Chief Roger Byars said officers from his department went to the hospital after the shooting to be with Wiley’s family.
"As Chief of Police for TSU, and speaking on behalf of all members of the department and indeed all members of the TSU community, the officer’s entire family are in our thoughts and prayers as they deal with this senseless tragedy," Byars wrote.
Calderon is scheduled to appear in court Friday morning.