Parents of Marcos Orta, 17, shot to death in Galena Park speak to FOX 26
Residents in Galena Park are also dealing with continued violence after three teenagers were killed in a murder-suicide over the weekend.
Galena Park – The parents of a 17-year-old shot to death in Galena Park on Thursday are speaking exclusively to FOX 26, as the community there is dealing with the murders of three more teens over the weekend.
MORE: Galena Park residents reeling after 3 teens killed in murder-suicide
To say the children and the community as a whole there are hurting is an understatement.
Four teens were killed just two days apart and a fifth child, who was already out on bond for two different crimes, is now behind bars charged with murdering a boy he grew up with.
“My baby,” 17-year-old Marcos Orta’s mom Veronica Rosales cries and his dad Robert Orta chokes back tears outside the Galena Park Alvin D. Baggett Community Center where their son, a Galena Park High School Senior, was shot to death.
BACKGROUND: 17-year-old male student shot, killed near Galena Park Community Center
The 17-year-old’s parents are finding comfort in the outpouring of love from a still-growing memorial that’s been set up there.
“Him and my dad are together, but too young, too young,” Rosales cries.
The tears are hard to hold back, particularly when Orta’s parents know it was a 17-year-old from the neighborhood who’s been charged with robbing and murdering their son.
Arrest made in shooting death of 17-year-old in Galena Park
FOX 26 Reporter Damali Keith has the very latest as an arrest has been made in connection with the shooting death of a 17-year-old at a community center in Galena Park.
Johnny Lewis went to school with Orta for years. The two were once middle school teammates.
“They played basketball,” says Rosales. “They even have their picture together on their team picture. I actually grieve with his parents as well because they’re also having a loss. They’re losing a child as well.”
MORE: Friends, family grieving after 17-year-old killed near his school; police arrest suspect, 17
When Orta was shot to death Thursday, Lewis was actually out on bond for two different crimes, Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle just last month. And in October 2022, Lewis was charged with Unlawfully Carrying a Gun.
“He should have never been out on the streets,” says grieving father Robert Orta. “It’s tough. I’ve got a lot of anger, a lot of hurt.”
Galena Park residents reeling after 3 teens killed in murder-suicide
One Galena Park neighborhood is still in shock after four people were killed in a murder-suicide this weekend. FOX 26’s Natalie Hee shares the disturbing details as neighbors remain haunted by what happened.
Just a few minutes away another family is also in pain. Loved ones of 14-year-old Laisha Perez are holding a fundraiser to pay for her funeral after she was shot to death Saturday at a sleepover.
“This is just devastating, and all of our hearts are broken,” says Luis Romero who is 14-year-old Laisha Perez’s Uncle.
DETAILS: 4 killed during apparent murder-suicide in Galena Park: Sheriff
Investigators say the 14-year-old and two sisters, Melany Torres, 13, and Sayuri Gill, 19, who was six months pregnant, were all shot and killed by the sisters’ mom’s boyfriend who then sexually assaulted his girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter.
She escaped, and the man shot and killed himself. The 12-year-old was also able to save the 19-year-old’s 1-year-old daughter.
“Just like those two innocent girls that lost their lives, my niece was innocent,” Romero added. “She never did nothing to deserve this. This is really unbelievable.”
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez delivers preliminary details on murder-suicide in Galena Park
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says three teenagers were killed including a 19-year-old who was pregnant at the time.
“We just don’t believe that this happened,” he continued. “We still think that at any time she’s just going to come with my brother, and we’re still gonna be a full family. We wouldn’t wish this on anybody’s kid. Honestly, our family is broken at the moment. She was a really sweet girl. She was always smiling. She was a really happy person. She just turned 14 years old this month on February 7.”
Galena Park ISD Crisis Response Team is making counselors available. Kids who want to may reach out during school hours or after hours text “SUPPORT” to (832) 479-2135.
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This is certainly a lot for a community to cope with.
“I heard the gunshots,” says Galena Park resident Javier Sanchez who’s buying food at the fundraiser to help the Perez family. “It’s nothing you want to hear. Sad that the world’s come to this. You know, I have two daughters. So it really bothers me a lot. It’s just heartbreaking. It’s just no other way to put it.”
“I have kids, yes, it’s hard. I can’t imagine that,” adds Galena Park resident Nataly Lopez who’s also lending her support at the fundraiser. “I put myself in that position and I can’t imagine. It’s tough. I can’t imagine the pain and the hurt.”
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