Authorities in Texas say a 12-year-old boy is facing criminal charges including capital murder after allegedly gunning down a professional boxer in the victim’s living room this week.
John VanMeter, 24, and his girlfriend were reportedly at his home in Uvalde when an armed intruder burst in at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, according to ABC News.
A statement from the Uvalde Police Department indicates VanMeter’s girlfriend called 911 to report the incident and shooting and officers were dispatched to the location — just over an hour’s drive west of San Antonio.
Responding officers reported finding the victim on the floor in his living room with an obvious gunshot wound to the head.
After performing first aid, emergency personnel transported VanMeter to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Police say witnesses reported seeing an individual with his face obscured with a black bandanna running from the scene shortly after the shooting. It was unclear from available reports how officers were able to identify the suspect.
The victim’s fiancee, Sammy Arellano, said the suspect was a trouble child who had been living temporarily in their home, according to the San Antonio Express News. At some point prior to the shooting, she and VanMeter reportedly told him he had to leave due to his threatening behavior.
In a statement acknowledging the athlete’s death, a local boxing gym offered condolences to his survivors.
“We lost not only a great boxer but also a great friend always willing to help out upcoming fighters,” Ortiz Boxing Gym wrote in a Facebook post. “Rest Easy Champ.”
A California native, VanMeter reportedly picked up boxing when he was 10 and entered the professional realm in 2015.
After his arrest, the suspect was transported to the Jourdanton Juvenile Detention Center in Atascosa County.
[Featured image: John VanMeter, video screenshot]