Cesar Cortes, a 19-year-old senior, has been identified as the Bellaire HS student shot to death on campus Tuesday afternoon.
He was commander of the Delta Company unit of the school’s highly regarded Junior ROTC program, and friends say he had already committed to join the U.S. Army after graduation to serve his country.
A 16-year-old schoolmate is in custody and charged with manslaughter in his death. Bellaire police say that charge could be upgraded once the investigation is complete. They asked the public’s assistance in helping to find the weapon used in the crime, which they say could have been discarded in the neighborhood around the school. The department’s non-emergency number is 713-668-0487.
Classes were canceled at Bellaire High Wednesday, and about 60 students gathered for a prayer circle at Evelyn’s Park. A non-denominational community vigil will be held tonight at 7:30 at the park, 4400 Bellaire Blvd., sponsored by Crosspoint Church in Bellaire.
An Instagram video tribute to Cortes, posted by friends, had already attracted more than 13,000 views as of 2:30 Wednesday afternoon.