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Boxer shot, killed in Uvalde home invasion; 12-year-old charged

Shooting victim identified as John Duane VanMeter, 24

UVALDE, Texas – Uvalde police have arrested a 12-year-old boy in connection with the shooting death of a 24-year-old up-and-coming boxer.

John Duane VanMeter was shot just before 8 p.m. Wednesday at a home in the 600 block of Boone Street.

Uvalde police Chief Daniel Rodriguez said a woman called 911 saying someone tried to kick in the door, and when VanMeter opened it, he was shot in the head.

VanMeter was taken to Uvalde Memorial Hospital, where he died a short while later, Rodriguez said.

Witnesses said they saw someone running from the home dressed in all black and wearing a black bandanna to cover his face.

Uvalde police said the 12-year-old boy will be held at the Jourdanton Juvenile Detention Center on a charge of capital murder.

"This is not something that happens every day here," Rodriguez said. "This is kind of shocking to us and our community."

Rodriguez said he wants to find out how the boy got the gun. A motive for the shooting is not currently known. 

"That we know of, there is no history between them," Rodriguez said.

The Texas Rangers will help Uvalde police investigate the case.

Residents were stunned by the shooting, especially because the accused is so young.

"What was he doing with a gun at that age?" asked Norma Alvarado, a store clerk.

VanMeter's family said he had just turned pro last year and had won his first fight.

The victim's father, John VanMeter, said turning pro was a dream come true for his son.

"It's mine, too, you know, become professional. He loved it. Because if he didn't, he wouldn't have (gone though) all the hard pains, sweat, all the aches and pain," he said.


About the Authors:

Max Massey

Max Massey joined KSAT 12 News in August 2017 as a general assignments reporter.

Julie Moreno

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide-variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s social media strategy.