A high school sophomore in Houston was shot and killed – and two others were injured – in what family members say was the fatal conclusion to a social media beef.
Mareja Pratt, 16, was with her cousin Dekambrie Pratt, 20, and Anthony Thornabar, 22, Monday afternoon outside the Wilcrest Baptist Church when a man and three female companions got out of a car.
The man fired a gun up to 15 times and shot Mareja, her cousin, and Thornabar, police said.
Mareja Pratt, 16, was a sophomore at Elsik High School in Houston. She was shot and killed October 26 in what police and family say was the fatal conclusion to a social media beef
Mareja died on the scene outside a Baptist church Monday afternoon. She was with her cousin, Dekambrie Pratt, 20, and Anthony Thornabar, 22, who were both shot and injured during the confrontation
The four suspects then fled.
Mareja died at the scene. Her two companions were hospitalized and underwent surgery, reported KTRK. Both are expected to recover.
Police told the Daily Mail they spoke to members of Mareja’s family who believe their own kin might have been involved in the fatal shooting.
‘They thought that extended family members may have had a role in this shooting,’ said Jodi Silva, a spokesperson with the Houston Police Department.
An Instagram beef went on for months before threats turned deadly, family and police told KTRK.
Family said Mareja suffered harassment over Instagram for months before she and her two companions went to the church to confront her alleged harassers
Houston Police said they spoke to members of Mareja’s family who believe their own extended kin might have been involved in the fatal shooting
‘She was… just keep picking on her on Instagram, sending people her pictures, saying she was a prostitute, and just messing with her and messing with her to the point my cousin used to cry about it,’ said Kira Walton, Mareja’s cousin.
Then on Monday, police said, Mareja went with Thornabar and her cousin Dekambrie Pratt to the church down the street from her home to confront her alleged harassers.
‘It was just jealousy. You killed her over jealousy,’ said Walton.
Her cousin attended Elsik High school, which she enjoyed, and hoped to go to college, she said.
‘A very sad time where a 16-year-old female lost her life unnecessarily over something that seems to be pretty trivial, over a social media beef,’ Houston Police Commander David Angelo told KPRC.
Mareja Pratt’s cousin Kira Walton said her alleged harassers sent photos of the teen to others on Instagram and called her a prostitute
Police are seeking suspects and have made no arrests. Police said witnesses saw a black man exit a red Chrysler 200 and fire up to 15 shots during the confrontation.
Anyone with information related to the shooting is asked to call (713) 308-3600.