Teen indicted following shooting of Port Arthur middle school students

Published 12:38 am Tuesday, March 1, 2022

A 17-year-old male has been indicted in connection with the shooting of two teens next to a Port Arthur middle school.

Jose Gabriel Cortez, of Port Arthur, has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault following the Feb. 10 shooting in the parking lot of a shopping center adjacent to Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

A Port Arthur police officer working security at the school heard the shots being fired and arrived to find the two victims suffering from gunshot wounds, according to the arrest warrant.

Port Arthur Police personnel and school officials are scene at the site of a shooting Feb. 10, 2022. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The teens were brought to local hospitals for treatment.

A witness reportedly showed a video of the shooting to police, who saw the suspect wearing a black Hollister hoodie, black pants and black and red Nike slide sandals, the document states. The suspect was pointing a handgun into the crowd right before the officer, who was watching the video, heard two gunshots as the crowd dispersed.

Other witnesses identified the alleged shooter.

RELATED: Shock follows shooting of middle school students caught in part on video 

A handgun matching the one used in the shooting was reportedly found at Cortez’s home.

He was arrested Feb. 10.

Following the shooting, Port Arthur Independent School District released a statement saying the injured students were enrolled at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, but the alleged shooter was not a PAISD student.

As of Monday, Jose Cortez remained in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility on bonds totaling $200,000.

An indictment is not a final conviction of guilt; it is only a ruling by the grand jury that allows the district attorney’s office to proceed with a criminal case.