A Houston man shot and killed a 17-year-old Galveston County man in Algoa on Tuesday morning in what is being described as a confrontation over the sale of an iPhone, the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office said.
Investigators described the shooting as an act of self-defense, but they expected it would eventually be heard by a grand jury.
Joshua Wooten, 17, died at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston just before 7 a.m. Tuesday, about 90 minutes after being shot three times in the torso, according to the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office.
Wooten was shot near the 7000 block of Lilley Road, in the unincorporated community of Algoa. He was shot by Bruce Robinson, 38, of Houston, according to the sheriff’s office.
Robinson drove to the home where the shooting took place after speaking to Wooten on the phone application Offer Up, which connects people selling things to buyers, according to the sheriff’s office. Robinson was attempting to buy an iPhone that Wooten had advertised on the site, according to the sheriff’s office.
Robinson told investigators he gave Wooten cash for the phone and was handed an empty iPhone box, Galveston County Sheriff’s Office Major Barry Cook said.
Robinson confronted Wooten and demanded his money back, Cook said.
Robinson said he shot Wooten after the younger man reached into his pocket, Cook said. Robinson said he believed Wooten had a gun and was going to try to hurt him, Cook said.
“He felt that something bad was going to happen,” Cook said. “He felt fearful.”
Deputies received the call about the shooting just after 5:30 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office.
Robinson, who is licensed by the state to carry a handgun, stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators after the shooting, Cook said.
Investigators at the scene reported finding a knife in Wooten’s sweatshirt, Cook said.
The sheriff’s office described the confrontation as an attempted robbery and said its investigators believed the shooting was in self-defense, Cook said.
“Based on what they heard on the scene, they believed his story to be credible,” Cook said.
The sheriff’s office referred the case to the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office, which could refer the case to a grand jury to decide whether charges should be filed against Robinson.