Sam Reynolds was the 16-year-old boy from Arlington, Texas, who police said was shot and killed near his home days after defending his friend from a bully.
Reynolds’ family told investigators that the teen began having trouble with the suspect after intervening on the smaller boy’s behalf. His mother told KXAS-TV she had advised Reynolds to stay away from the bully following the confrontation.
The fatal shooting happened on February 6, 2020. The suspect was arrested the same day. Police have not released the suspect’s name because he is a juvenile. It was not immediately clear whether the suspect would be charged as an adult.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Police Said the Shooting Was Captured On Camera
Sam Reynolds was shot after school near his home on February 6, 2020. Arlington Police said in a news release they were called to the scene around 4:36 p.m. Responding officers found Reynolds suffering from a single gunshot wound. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Arlington Police Lt. Chris Cook explained to local reporters that the shooting had been recorded on surveillance cameras. He said Reynolds had been walking between buildings when he was approached by another teenage boy.
Lt. Cook said the video showed the suspect pull out a gun and shoot Reynolds within seconds of approaching him. He fired once and fled the scene. Reynolds took a few steps before falling to the ground.
2. Family & Friends Remembered Sam Reynolds As a Compassionate Young Man Who Never Hesitated to Support His Friends
A candlelight vigil was held at Arlington High School on February 7 to celebrate Sam Reynolds’ young life. Classmates and former teammates spoke about how Reynolds was the type of person who would do anything for his friends and loved ones.
Friend Russell Laniyan told a story about how Reynolds gifted him a pair of his own cleats when he didn’t have his own, according to WFAA-TV. Laniyan told the crowd, “I thank him for the impact that he made on my life.”
Reynolds’ mother, Madison Fletcher, shared a heartfelt message to everyone who came out for the vigil. She wrote on Facebook, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Each and every one of you that attended tonight, just thank you. And those of you that couldn’t make it, I still felt your warm embrace from afar. In a time where my heart is shattered and broken, tonight helped sweet Sam’s spirit live on. There was so much love and compassion. In this horrible tragic time, love and kindness is the only thing that might get us through. I love each and every one of you.”
3. Sam Reynolds Was a Sophomore at Arlington High School & Played Soccer
Sam Reynolds was in the 10th grade at Arlington High School. Family members said he loved to play soccer and spend time with his grandfather on the lake.
His cousins launched a GoFundMe campaign to help Reynolds’ mother with funeral expenses. They wrote on the page, “Madison and Sam had a stronger bond then you could ever imagine, it has always been the two of them, the best of friends. Madison raised Sam to be the most respectful, kind-hearted person you’ve ever meet.”
4. The Suspect Was On Probation For Assault At the Time of the Shooting & Has Been Charged With Murder In Juvenile Court
Arlington Police arrested the suspect on the same day as the shooting. Investigators said the teen used a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun but that the weapon had not been recovered.
Lt. Cook said detectives are working to determine how the teen had accessed the gun. He told NBC Dallas, “If an adult has provided this firearm, you can certainly bet that we’re going to pursue them vigorously because firearms and kids, they just don’t mix.”
The teen was charged with murder in juvenile court on February 7. The Star-Telegram was in the courtroom when State District Judge Alex Kim denied bond to the 15-year-old suspect. The judge noted that the teen had been charged with assault at age 12 and was still on probation from that incident. The newspaper added that the suspect’s attorney requested that he be put on suicide watch “because his parents said he has talked about killing himself in the past.”
5. Arlington High School Lowered Flags to Half-Staff In Sam Reynolds’ Memory
Grief counselors were made available to Arlington High School students as they coped with the sudden loss of their friend and classmate. The district shared in a Facebook post that ROTC students lowered the school’s flag to half-staff in memory of Sam Reynolds.
School principal Shahveer Dhalla said of Reynolds in a prepared statement, “We are heartbroken by this tragic loss of a young life. He touched the lives of many of our Arlington students and teachers, and he will be missed.”
Reynolds’ funeral was scheduled for Wednesday, February 12 at Moore Funeral Home in Arlington.