HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Everybody is somebody's baby or brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, whatever. Everybody matters to somebody. Debarione Seals was no exception.
"He was a loving person," said Maria Cheeks, Seals' aunt. "A beautiful person. I mean yes, he can pass for a woman, because he was just that beautiful. You know what I'm saying?"
It was just around 6 a.m. Wednesday when neighbors heard gunshots shatter the stillness of dawn.
"I heard six of them," describes neighbor Ollie Carter. "Boom, boom, boom! Then a silence. And then boom! Then boom, boom!"
The bullets struck her car, the neighbor's garage, and far more importantly, the body of Seals, a person born a male and transitioning into a female. A body that Seals was apparently selling to pay for the transition treatments and possibly drugs.
"The fact that we have a man in women's clothing," said veteran Houston Police Department homicide unit Detective Fil Waters. "The speculation is he's been working the street, that someone picks up and then realizes he's not what he's representing himself to be and take this kind of ultimate action."
Whoever took that ultimate action might have thought he was a throwaway, someone nobody would miss. That killer was wrong. Seals had a large loving family, a family that knew of his struggles and accepted him for who he was and who he was becoming but will now never be.
"Whoever took his life, they have to answer," said Cheeks as she wiped away tears. "Maybe the police might not can get you, but you will have to answer to one person. And that's the higher power of God. You will have to answer to him."