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By David K. Li
A 14-year-old boy was arrested and faces a murder charge in Houston after an alleged egg-throwing prank sparked a chase that ended in the death of a motorist, authorities said Wednesday.
The incident began with the suspect —allegedly behind the wheel of a GMC Acadia SUV, with two other juvenile passengers inside — throwing eggs at passing cars on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
A driver in one of the egged cars allegedly flashed a semi-automatic handgun at the boys and chased them, officials said.
The fleeing teens drove through a red light and slammed into a Ford pickup truck, killing its female driver, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted.
The victim was identified Wednesday as Silvia Zavala, 45. She “was found with no signs of life at the scene by paramedics,” deputies said.
The 14-year-old driver suffered a broken ankle and has been booked into a juvenile detention center, according to the sheriff.
Gonzalez called Zavala “totally innocent,” adding that she “had just gone shopping based on some debris strewn at scene.”
A daughter said Zavala was a single mom who was out running errands when she killed.
“She raised us alone,” daughter Jessica Gaspar, 20, told NBC Houston affiliate KPRC. “She was a single mother, and she always taught me to stay strong and stay positive.”
Gaspar said she’s sympathetic to the 14-year-old suspect, but still wants him to be punished.
“I feel bad. I really do, but he took my mother’s life and he has to pay for what he did,” she said.
The motorist who gave chase to the teens was driving a tan 1970s Lincoln Continental with a white leather top did not stop at the scene of the crash, deputies said.
“The driver of the vehicle that was chasing him has been identified & efforts are being made to interview him,” Gonzalez tweeted.
In the state of Texas, suspects 17 and older are considered adults. A murder suspect can be tried as young as 14 but only after a juvenile court rules that the young offender had a previous record and his or her crime warranted trial as an adult, a Harris County prosecutor said.