Houston girl, 16, fatally shot as she walked dog

HOUSTON – As she does most days, 16-year-old Diamond Alvarez walked her family’s Peanut dog in her neighborhood southwest of Houston on Tuesday evening.

Since it was already dark, her mother, Ana Machado, asked her to stay outside for only 20 minutes and then go home. But Diamond never came back as she was fatally shot at about 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday two blocks away on the side of a street near a grass field where all the neighborhood kids play. Her family found her body near the green after Peanut ran home without Diamond. Machado tried to revive her daughter with CPR, but it was too late.

“I tried and tried and tried. When (I saw) there was nothing else I could do, I started telling her how much I loved her and that I was always here,” Machado said.

On Thursday, Houston police continued their search for whoever shot Diamond multiple times. Police say witnesses reported hearing several gunshots and then screeching tires as a darkened car fled the scene. Investigators have not commented on a possible motive for the shooting.

Machado said that when her brother heard the shooting, she called Diamond twice, but the calls went straight to voicemail.

“When the peanuts came on their own, I already knew something was wrong. I already knew my baby wasn’t okay,” Machado said.

On Thursday afternoon, Machado and other family and friends gathered at a makeshift memorial with candles, stuffed animals and balloons set up near where her body was found and remembered fondly as Diamond as a happy person who worked hard, loved school and dreamed of being an esthetician one day.

“She was working hard in school to graduate. She would get there,” Machado said of her daughter, who was a sophomore in high school. “And she didn’t graduate. She didn’t get her degree. She couldn’t have been a mother, or a wedding, or children, or nothing.”

Diamond’s uncle, Roberto Mejia, described her as a hard-working outcast who was willing to try new things.

“She was known for her skin,” Mejia said.

“Her eyelashes are big,” Machado said, laughing in a moment of mystery.

Mejia said that Diamond brought joy to everyone she met.

“We can’t believe something terrible would happen to a nice person like this. She didn’t deserve it. Nobody does it, especially not the 16-year-old. So, we only want justice and who’s responsible,” Mejia said.

Diamond’s family created a GoFundMe page to help pay for her funeral.

Machado said Diamond’s siblings were dealing with her death as best they could, but her 14-year-old brother was going through a hard time because he was the first to find her body.

“He just wants to be strong,” she said. “He doesn’t want to cry.”

The Diamond family kept hoping the police would find her killer.

“If someone knows, come out and talk. Who wants someone to be like that, that’s dangerous?” She said. “I’m not going to get my daughter back. But at least you know he’ll pay the price.”

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