Family, friends and classmates of Cesar Cortes will gather this afternoon (Saturday, Jan. 18) at West University Baptist Church for what’s being called a commemorative service.
The remembrance, which will run from 2-5 p.m. at 6218 Auden St., will include open casket viewing.
The 19-year-old Junior ROTC leader and senior at Bellaire HS was planning to enlist in the U.S. Army in June after graduation. He was killed Tuesday afternoon by a 16-year-old classmate who reportedly was showing off a semi-automatic handgun he had carried all day on campus.
The Harris County District Attorney’s office has said the shooting was “unintentional” and has charged the unnamed juvenile with manslaughter.
Cortes’ schoolmates are using his death to call attention to security on the 3,400-plus student campus, where there have reportedly been at least three other incidents this school year of guns being brought to school. In addition to on-campus and community vigils in Bellaire, a group of Bellaire students staged a protest outside Houston ISD headquarters Friday demanding greater transparency from the district about campus gun incidents.
Alumni and Friends of Bellaire HS have set up a memorial scholarship in Cortes’ name that will be given to a graduating senior in the JROTC program. Contributions are being accepted here.