Houston girl, 16, fatally shot as she walked dog

HOUSTON —
As on most days, 16-year-old Diamond Alvarez walked her family’s dog Peanut in her southwest Houston neighborhood on Tuesday night.

Since it was already dark, her mother, Anna Machado, told her to stay outside for just 20 minutes and then return home. But Diamond never came back as she was fatally shot on Tuesday around 9:30 p.m. a few blocks away on the side of the road near a lawn where all the neighborhood kids are playing. Her family found her body on the lawn after Peanut ran home without Diamond. Machado attempted to revive her daughter through CPR, but it was too late.

“I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve tried. When I (saw) that I couldn’t do anything else, I started telling her how much I love her and that I’m always here,” Machado said.

Houston police continued Thursday to search for the man who shot Diamond multiple times. Police say witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots and then screeching tires as a possibly dark-colored vehicle fled the scene. Investigators have not commented on a possible motive for the shooting.

Machado said when her brother heard the gunshots, she called Diamond twice, but the calls went straight to voicemail.

When Peanut “came on its own, I knew something was wrong. I already knew my baby wasn’t doing well,” Machado said.

On Thursday afternoon, Machado and other family members and friends gathered at a makeshift memorial with candles, stuffed animals and balloons placed near where her body was found, and fondly remembered Diamond as a happy person who worked hard at school loved and dreamed of becoming a beautician one day.

“She worked really hard in school to get her degree. And she got there,” Machado said of her daughter, who was a sophomore of high school. “And she didn’t graduate. She didn’t get her diploma. She didn’t become a mother, marriage, children, nothing.”

Diamond’s uncle Roberto Mejia described her as an outgoing person who worked hard and was willing to try new things.

“She was known for having eyelashes,” Mejia said.

“Your big lashes,” Machado said as she laughed in a moment of hilarity.

Mejia said Diamond brought joy to everyone she met.

“We just can’t believe that something so horrible would happen to such a sweet person. She didn’t deserve this. Nobody does, especially not a young lady who is 16 years old. So we just want justice and whoever is responsible for it will be brought to justice,” Mejia said.

Diamond’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for her funeral expenses.

Machado said Diamond’s siblings coped with her death as best they could, but that her 14-year-old brother was having a hard time as he was the person who first found her body.

“He just wants to be strong. He doesn’t want to cry,” she said.

Diamond’s family continued to hope that the police would find her killer.

“If anyone knows, come out and speak up. Who would want someone out there like that, so dangerous?” she said. “I’m not getting my daughter back. But at least you know he’s going to pay.”

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