HOUSTON (FOX 26) - "The first time I saw him, I fell in love with my boy," says Emmanuel Thomas as he stands outside an apartment complex on a crisp fall day. It's hard to tell at first if it's the weather or his pain that is causing the shine in his eyes.
That was in September 1999. But Thomas will never see his son Blake again.
“Nobody's got the right to take a life. You can't get that back. Everything else can be replaced," Thomas said.
It was Sunday morning around 10 a.m. His son, a Nimitz grad who was planning on joining the military, was at this same apartment complex in Greenspoint. Thomas says he was with a friend who was there trying to buy marijuana. Something happened, something very bad. The dealer shot Blake twice and fled. Residents struggled unsuccessfully to save his life.
"That could've been anybody. That could've been me. I'm not a perfect man. I used to do dirt but at the same time that's enough. That's enough," said Marquis Guy. He knows. He says since he returned here after getting out of jail he’s seen three murders. But it wasn't anyone. It was Blake. Thomas knows somebody knows something and hopes surveillance video from the complex will jog some memories.
Speaking of memories, this is a year he'd love to forget. He lost his apartment in a fire. He lost his car in Harvey. He almost lost his father, a pastor, who got hit by a car trying to help a stranded motorist along I-45. Now he has lost his beloved son, but he's holding out hope that the gunman does the right thing and turns himself in.
"You took something special. I know the world taught you to do that because you were scared. But whatever you do in life you have to be responsible for it,” he says with more tears welling in his eyes.