Teen Charged in Fatal Homestead School Bus Shooting Can Attend School: Judge

Victim Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus held and played with the gun herself before she was shot, a witness told authorities

By Diana Gonzalez, Willard Shepard, Gilma Avalos and Brian Hamacher
|  Thursday, Jan 31, 2013  |  Updated 6:51 AM EDT
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Crime scene photos and sworn statements are revealed in the fatal Homestead school bus shooting. Documents show Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus held the gun she was shot with. Jordyn Howe is charged in her death.

Crime scene photos and sworn statements are revealed in the fatal Homestead school bus shooting. Documents show Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus held the gun she was shot with. Jordyn Howe is charged in her death.

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Victim Played With Gun Before Homestead School Bus Shooting: Witness

A 13-year-old boy told a detective in a sworn statement that Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus played with the gun and pointed it at people, before she was shot by Jordyn Howe. Other court documents and photos provided more insight into what happened inside the school bus where Guzman-DeJesus, 13, was fatally shot in November. Howe, 15, has pleaded not guilty to several charges.

Teen Charged in Fatal Homestead School Bus Shooting Can Attend School: Judge

Jordyn Howe can go to school and church while he's out on bond, Judge Ellen Sue Venzer ruled Wednesday. She and the 15-year-old defendant spoke in court. Ron Book, a spokesman for the family of victim Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus, discussed how her mother once worked for Howe's stepfather.
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The 15-year-old charged in the fatal shooting of a girl on a Homestead school bus will be allowed to attend school and go to church while he's out on bond, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Jordyn Howe will also be allowed to see his attorney but otherwise will have to stay at home, Judge Ellen Sue Venzer ruled during a hearing Wednesday that the teen and his family attended.

"You're not to be going to the movies, you're not hanging out, you go from home to school, you go from school to home," Venzer told the teen.

Howe will have to maintain a B average or above, Venzer said.

During Wednesday's hearing, Howe's parents told the judge there are no guns at their home, and Venzer said no guns will be allowed in their house. Venzer also ordered Howe to undergo counseling.

Earlier this week, Howe pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm by a minor in the November shooting that killed 13-year-old Lourdes Guzman-DeJesus.

She held the gun herself before she was fatally shot, a 13-year-old boy told a detective in a sworn statement obtained by NBC 6. It was a .40-caliber Taurus pistol, according to court documents.

“L comes and she grabs it and she picks it out, she playing with it, pointing it at people," the witness told the detective. He added of Howe, "He didn't really care."

Guzman-DeJesus pointed the firearm at others, the witness said.

“Pulling on the trigger, like pointing at people, pointing it at the floor, at herself," he said.

She even pulled the trigger but it did not go off, according to the witness.

But when Howe pointed the gun at Guzman-DeJesus and pulled the trigger, it did fire, the witness said.

The detective asked if the 13-year-old clearly saw Howe raise the gun from the ground and point it at Guzman-DeJesus.

“He didn't really raise it up that high, he just went like this, (indicating) like not really pointing," the witness responded, according to his statement.

He said of Guzman-DeJesus, “She started screaming and fell on the floor.”

Howe had been carrying the gun for about two months, the 13-year-old witness said.

Another witness, an 11-year-old girl, also claimed to have seen the weapon before. She told a detective in her statement that Howe had showed her a gun three days previously.

Howe had been on house arrest, but he was booked into jail last week after prosecutors decided to charge him as an adult in the shooting. He later bonded out and had been attending school without a monitoring device, according to information presented a hearing Monday.

The assistant principal at Somerset Academy, where Howe had been attending, said the teen had been transferred to a different school but didn't disclose the name.

Ady Guzman, Guzman-DeJesus' mother, has said she was upset that Howe will be allowed to attend school.

Howe and Guzman-DeJesus were on their way to school on the private bus when the boy took the firearm out of a backpack and displayed it, according to an arrest report. The gun went off, hitting Guzman-DeJesus as the bus was in the area of Southwest 296th Street and Southwest 137th Avenue.

Guzman-DeJesus, a student at Palm Glades Preparatory Academy, was taken to Miami Children's Hospital, where she later died.

Howe's family members have refused to comment on the case.

In an odd twist, it was learned at Wednesday's hearing that Guzman had once worked for Howe's stepfather.

“Up until today she was not certain that there had been a relationship that had existed in the past. She was employed by the gentleman's restaurant, and there was just some history there," said Ron Book, a spokesman for the victim's family.

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