BELLAIRE, Texas – Police have found the gun they believe a 16-year-old student used to fatally shoot his classmate last week inside a Houston-area high school, officials said.
Police characterized the shooting in an ROTC room at Bellaire High School last Tuesday as an accident. Cesar Cortes, 19, was killed and the teenage gunman, who fled after the shooting, was captured more than three hours later and charged as a minor with manslaughter.
The city of Bellaire announced Monday that authorities have recovered the weapon. Lt. Greg Bartlett declined to say when or where the gun was found.
Bartlett said last week that the younger student took a semi-automatic pistol out of his waistband and pulled the trigger, killing Cortes. There were four other students in the room at the time, but no adults.
Police could not find the gun for days.
Bartlett said the student had taken the weapon from home, and that it was not school property nor issued by the ROTC.
Both teens were part of the ROTC program at the school.
District Attorney Kim Ogg said the shooter and victim were friends and that there was no sign that they had been fighting before the shooting.