Brian Curtis, NBC 5 News
The family of 14-year-old Luis Avila, killed by a home owner during a home invasion robbery, talked only to NBC 5 and said Avila got in with the wrong crowd.
Family members of a 14-year-old killed in a home invasion Monday say they are shocked and saddened by the circumstances around his death.
A homeowner shot Luis Avila when he and an 13-year-old and another 14-year-old allegedly tried to break into a southeast Dallas home. The homeowner, Lee Cobler, called 911, armed himself and fired.
Avila's mother, Ana Luna, said the circumstances around his death are so confusing and out-of-character that she had to speak up on his behalf. She said she was at work when she received the call notifying her of her son's death.
Luna said her son academically struggled and was in special education classes at Hood Middle School.
She said she was most concerned about his emotional health. A few years ago, Avila lost an older brother to gun violence, she said. Just more than a month ago, Avila lost a second brother to colon cancer.
Luna said she knew her son was hurting and putting on a front, trying to be strong for the family, but she said she could hear him crying in his room at night.
The family said Avila's pain may have led him to recently seek out the wrong crowd. Family members said Avila, who did not have many friends, never brought any of them to his home. Family members said they made him aware of the danger that confronts young boys in the streets.
Luna said she tried to get her son counseling and help through his school, but it didn't work.
Avila went to two classes after she dropped him off at school Monday morning. A friend saw him skipping school with the 13-year-old and 14-year-old who allegedly tried to break into the home with him. Luna said she doesn't know either boy.
Avila's family members say they don't want him remembered as a criminal because that wasn't his life. His sister, Sandra Rodriguez, said Avila didn't need to steal from anyone. His family would have happily given him anything he wanted, she said.