‘Kind of reckless': Witness describes moments leading up to shooting of Bellaire High School student

When Cesar Cortes, 19, was shot and killed at Bellaire High School Tuesday, one of his best friends was there to witness it. He described what may have been an unintentional shooting.

Jordan Koy says he and his fellow JROTC members were in the supply room at Bellaire High School, changing before JROTC practice at the end of the school day.

“The suspect is there,” said Koy. “He shows a boy the gun, and then Cesar was there too, and he wanted to see too.”

Koy says that’s when he went behind a curtain to change as the boys were looking at the 32-caliber semi-automatic gun.

“He treated it as a toy...kind of recklessly,” said Koy. “I heard the gunshot, and the last thing I heard Cesar say was, ‘I got shot.’ And there was a hesitation where I didn’t go out, and when I went out, the room—the actual supply room—I see Cesar already on the ground.”

Koy says Cortes had been shot in the torso. The 16-year-old boy who shot him was gone.

About four hours later surveillance video captured the scene of that boy’s arrest. He’d been hiding next to a dumpster outside of Sunrise Grocery about a mile from Bellaire High School. The video shows both he and another person were handcuffed and taken away by police. District Attorney Kim Ogg said the other person is not facing any charges at this point.

Koy says the shooter was also a part of JROTC with Cortes.

“There was no beef whatsoever,” said Koy. “I believe that they don’t have nothing against each other.”

“It’s hard to say, because I was in the curtains, and when it happened, I didn’t hear any struggle,” said Koy when asked whether the shooting was accidental.

At a balloon release Wednesday afternoon, the victim’s best friend Alex read a final message to his friend.

“They say a person is only truly dead when they are forgotten, but you will never be,” said Alex. “Rest easy Cesar. We all love you.”

Bellaire police say about six students were in the area when the shooting happened. 

Police say students have been cooperative, but the suspect has not, allegedly refusing to tell police what happened.

According to Bellaire PD Lieutenant Bartlett, the alleged shooter has not shown any remorse.