A North Texas teenager is behind bars, accused of murdering a Balch Springs man who had just become a father.
Balch Springs police announced the arrest of the 16-year-old during a news conference Wednesday. Because he is a juvenile, state law prevents them from releasing his name or picture.
Department spokesperson Officer Pedro Gonzalez said the teen is the only suspect in the shooting death of Robert Eames, who was killed Dec. 26.
That night, the 30-year-old was in his home at the Autumn Run Apartments when he heard the alarm in his Hummer go off. Police said he went outside to investigate, which is when he saw the teen and confronted him.
Moments later, his fiancee Stephanie Garza heard three gunshots from inside the apartment. When she ran outside, she found Eames on the ground near the stairs and saw the teen take off on foot. Eames was rushed to the hospital, where he later died.
Garza gave birth to their son just five days before the shooting.
"I feel this deep in my heart -- I want to start with my condolences to the Eames family," said Balch Springs Police Chief Jonathan Haber. "I know this has been a very difficult time for them. It's also been a very difficult time for the police department. It was a very tragic homicide that we had and we suffer in their loss as well."
Haber said "good old fashioned police work" by his investigators is what led them to the teen. He singled out a detective and an investigations sergeant in particular, who spent more than 100 hours canvassing the area, finding and interviewing witnesses, tracking down surveillance video from nearby homes, and serving search warrants.
"Unlike most departments, we don't have investigators on the streets 24/7 -- we have four guys back there," said Haber. "I don't know if words can describe how proud I am of them and I think how proud the community of Balch Springs should be of their professional police department. They jumped in with both feet and never took the foot off the gas. They did an awesome job."
The teen is being held at the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center.