March 3, 2006, 2:19PM
Family racked by teenager's unsolved slaying
The Sharpstown High freshman was gunned down in backseat of car
By MIKE GLENN
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
Sonja Selimic and her family left the former Yugoslavia more than a decade ago to escape the unrelenting warfare and bitter ethnic tensions plaguing their homeland.
They hoped for a fresh start in the United States when their long journey ended in Texas.
But Selimic's family was rocked again by violence Wednesday night when someone opened fire and took her 14-year-old son's life as he sat in a car on a darkened street in southwest Houston.
"I want to be a happy mother, but I must put my son in a grave," the grieving woman said Thursday, one day after her son, Alen, was killed in a still unsolved shooting in the 6400 block of West Bellfort.
Police said Alen was sitting in the backseat of a Dodge Neon about 9:40 p.m. when three men pulled alongside and opened fire. A single round entered the car just below the rear passenger window, striking the Sharpstown High freshman in the back.
Other friends drove Selimic to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
"When he got there, he had no heartbeat and he had no pulse," said Arna Selimic, Alen's sister.
Police on Thursday didn't have a detailed description of the gunmen and were continuing to question the victim's friends. Some officers at the scene speculated that gang rivalry could have been a motive for the slaying — a theory that Selimic's father rejects.
"He was not in the gangs," Mirsad Selimic said of his son.
Alen was born in Bosnia and learned English after his family moved to Houston. He quickly assimilated into his adopted hometown.
"When people asked him where he was from, he would go, 'I'm from Houston,' because he loved Houston," Arna said.
Family members said Alen was popular at school and enjoyed spending his free time riding around with friends. Like most teenagers, his plans and ambitions for the future changed regularly.
"Once, he said he wanted to be a pilot and then he switched around and wanted to be a police officer," Arna said.
As she prepares to bury her son, Sonja Selimic said she hopes someone will come forward with the information that will put Alen's killer behind bars.
"I am a mom and my heart is broken forever," Sonja Selimic said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Houston Police homicide division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.