HOUSTON – The 16-year-old son of Antonio Armstrong has been charged with capital murder in connection with a shooting that killed his father and his mother early Friday morning, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
The shooting happened at a two-story home in the 5300 block of Palmetto Street, near Bellaire.
Multiple sources close to the family have claimed on Facebook that Dawn and Antonio’s son – Antonio Jr. (nicknamed A.J) – killed them in a rage of fury after his father refused to buy him an expensive pair of Nike Jordan sneakers – authorities are yet a motive.
Houston police told Channel 2 that Armstrong and his wife were both shot inside their home. The wife was pronounced dead at the scene. Armstrong was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head. He later died from the injury.
A source close to the investigation told Eyewitness News that 16-year-old A.J was the one who made the initial 911 call. The source also says a note was found by the gun, which read: “I’ve been watching you.”
“There was no neglect or anything, nothing that could even possibly justify the situation,” Dawn Armstrong’s cousin, Vaun Lee told KTRK. “This makes no sense.”
Antonio Armstrong was an all-American linebacker at Texas A&M University before playing one season for the Miami Dolphins.
The Armstrongs ran a gym, First Class Training. Antonio Armstrong was a motivational speaker and associate pastor at his church known for promoting health and fitness, both in his community and on YouTube.
“This was an outstanding family,” Jimmy Dodson, a homicide investigator with the Houston Police Department, told KPRC-TV. “The male of the family was an absolute hard working breadwinner. He was an associate pastor in the area church. He’s a great guy. The mother was apparently a great mother, according to family members. Like I said, it was kind of the all-American family.”
Lee said the Armstrongs were known as a “power couple” who made things happen in the community and had great relationships with their children.
“They kept them busy and they supported them in everything that they did. There was not any mark that they missed with their children,” Lee said. “There was nothing that even could possibly have justified this situation. This doesn’t even make sense.”
Texas A&M released a statement on the tragedy:
“Former Texas A&M football lettermen and 1994 first-team Associated Press All-American Antonio Armstrong and wife, Dawn, passed away Friday in Houston.
Armstrong, a linebacker from Houston Kashmere High School, lettered for the Aggies from 1991-94 and was a two-time All-Southwest Conference selection. He earned All-America honors and was named a semifinalist for the Butkus Award as a senior after leading the SWC in quarterback sacks and tackles for loss.”
Statement from Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Antonio Armstrong and his family, his old teammates and the entire Aggie family. Our strength coach Larry Jackson was a teammate of Antonio’s and thought the world of him. This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts are broken.”