Investigators believe two men were trying to steal the car belonging to young Charissa Powell’s father. On Monday, homicide detectives said they are getting tips but need more to be able to develop suspects. They went back to the apartment complex where the shooting took place armed with a plea for help.
Investigators distributed flyers and attached them to apartment unit doors at the Live Oak Bend Apartments on Greens Parkway. The flyers have a picture of Powell dressed in pink beneath the words, “Who Killed Charissa Powell?”
“It’s still hurtful. I have three kids myself and felt it could have been my three kids,” said Angel Hood, a neighbor.
Police say the killer was after the family car, a Pontiac Grand Prix with custom rims. Shortly after 1:00 p.m., the victim’s father told police he, his wife and two children were about to leave the complex when a man demanded the keys.
Investigators say the father initially thought it was a prank, but as the father tried to get his children out of the car, one suspect shot out the back window hitting the three-year-old girl in the chest. Her baby brother was wounded by bullet fragments and is expected to be all right.
Powell’s is not the first death to be connected to a ‘tricked-out ride.’ In December, Sashe Gray was also killed over rims that she had nothing to do with.
“She just happened to be in a car in between someone who wanted the rims and someone who had the rims,” said Amy Smith from Crime Stoppers of Houston.
Information submitted to Crime Stoppers resulted in an arrest in that case. Since January, HPD has counted 125 carjackings. The biggest hurdle that investigators face in solving them is getting witnesses to come forward.
“I mean people are scared if they say something they’re going to be the next person it happens to, so a lot of people ain’t going to talk about it,” said John Davis, a resident of the apartment complex where Powell lived.
The shooter and accomplice were seen leaving the complex in two older-model cars. One is described as a Buick LeSabre, possibly blue, silver or white in color. The other is said to be a Burgundy Ford Taurus.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-8477 (TIPS). People who contact Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous.