A former Marine was arrested in the fatal stabbing of an 11-year-old Houston boy who was attacked while walking home from school last month, authorities said Saturday.
Andre Timothy Jackson Jr., 27, was charged with murder Friday shortly after his arrest at a Salvation Army where he was living, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a news conference. Jackson, who was discharged from the Marine Corps in 2011, was being held on a $100,000 bond at the Harris County Jail.
Jackson is accused of stabbing sixth-grader Josue Flores as the boy walked home from school on May 17.
Witnesses described hearing loud screaming and seeing a man and the boy struggle before Josue collapsed and the suspect fled, according to Houston police. The boy was hospitalized with multiple stab wounds but died at the hospital, police said.
"I hope today's announcement can perhaps bring a little bit of comfort to those who love Josue," Turner said. "I hope it will also ease the fears of the community."
Authorities had offered a $20,000 reward for a tip that led to the person responsible for the killing. Another man in his 30s was originally arrested and charged in the murder, but the charges were dropped when his alibi checked out.
On Thursday, police released new surveillance video and photos of the suspect. A man in the video can be seen running near where the boy was stabbed.
Houston Police Department Lt. John McGalin said the video led to a tip about another video, which led investigators to Jackson. He said a distinctive jacket that was worn by the man in the videos was found with Jackson, who "provided a statement that corroborated a lot of things we knew to be true and led us to believe we have the right guy."
McGalin added that there is no known connection between Jackson and the young victim.
"Our law enforcement partners worked around the clock investigating this senseless crime," said a Harris County District Attorney's Office statement.
"We can't bring 11-year-old Josue Flores back, but we can do our part — as we seek justice," the statement added.
Guadalupe Flores, Josue's sister, told NBC affiliate KPRC that she wants to see her son's alleged killer in court.
"If not, and if justice doesn't get served here, it will be served with God," she said.
Josue — the middle child of seven who had dreams of becoming a doctor — was laid to rest in late May in the Historic Hollywood Cemetery.