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Mom of slain woman asks for help in finding drive-by killer

October 12, 2018

The mother of a drive-by shooting victim pleaded Thursday for tips leading to the culprit who sprayed a southwest Houston neighborhood with the bullets that killed her 25-year-old daughter.

Of the nearly 40 rounds two shooters fired during the fatal Aug. 11 shooting, only one struck Nicole Thomas’ daughter, Jade Walker. The rest peppered Walker’s car and the surrounding homes in the 4700 block of Oakside Drive, an investigator said. The fatal shot hit Walker in the head and she died the next day.

“It seems like it was a hit, but there’s no leads, no nothing,” Thomas said.

Houston police Det. Mark Condon agreed that the shooting was a targeted attack, but probably not aimed at Walker. He said the only known witness to the shooting was Walker’s boyfriend, who was in the passenger seat when a gunman in a black car sidled up to their vehicle and opened fire. The boyfriend, who Condon did not publicly identify, escaped the firefight unscathed.

As far as Condon can tell, two shooters armed with different caliber weapons opened fire toward each other. A hail of bullets struck homes on both sides of the Oakside Drive, he said.

There were no cameras to document the shooting, leaving Condon with “little to no leads” on the case. Adding to the mystery, he said Walker’s boyfriend has refused to elaborate on what happened.

“You can speculate that he was the target and I want him to talk to us,” Condon said during a press conference Thursday.

Walker’s mother has experienced similar radio silence from the boyfriend, she said.

“He doesn’t answer my calls. I’ve tried to reach out to him,” Thomas said.

In an attempt to find answers in the two months since her daughter’s death, Thomas saw the boyfriend’s mother in a grocery store and confronted her.

“I saw his mom in the store and she just said he was taking it really hard and how much he loved my daughter. That’s all I got,” Thomas said.

She said the couple was shot at moments after leaving his mother’s home to go the store.

During the briefing, Thomas celebrated her daughter as “a loving lady,” who had recently snagged a management job offer. She planned on heading back school before the shooting that claimed Walker’s life.

Walker’s death has left Thomas caring for her 4-year-old granddaughter, who her daughter loved.

“It’s really sad because my granddaughter is asking for her mom everyday. She wakes up at night crying, asking for her mother,” Thomas said.

The Crime Stoppers of Houston has issued a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to the capture of Walker’s killer.

nicole.hensley@chron.com

@nkhensley

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