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Humble man charged with murder in former football star's slaying

Chron logo Chron 12/18/2017 Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle

A Humble man was charged with murder after police say he gunned down a former high school football star during a dispute at a party near Lake Houston.

Isaiah Kain Salas-Martinez was arrested early Sunday after Cole Harrell's slaying at a home near Waterside View and Catherine Bay in the Summerwood area.

It was a small, laid-back gathering with a handful of friends, the slain man's older brother, Corbin Harrell, told the Chronicle afterward.

But around 2:30 a.m., one of the women at the party drunkenly called her boyfriend, according to Houston police.

Isaiah Kain Salas-Martinez was charged with murder Sunday. © HPD Isaiah Kain Salas-Martinez was charged with murder Sunday.

"He took it as something had happened," Corbin said.

The 20-year-old accused killer headed over to the house toting a shotgun and semi-automatic pistol, according to police. He allegedly burst in the house and started making threats.

Cole Harrell was shot to death after a dispute at a house party. © Courtesy Corbin Harrell Cole Harrell was shot to death after a dispute at a house party.

"He was like, 'I'll kill all y'all,'" said Corbin, whose youngest brother witnessed the shooting. "He was just waving the gun at everybody."

The former football player tried to intervene and save the day.

"My brother and somebody else tried to stop him," Corbin said. "They grabbed for the gun and he just started squeezing the trigger as they were trying to contain him."

Cole Harrell was shot to death after a dispute at a house party. © Courtesy Corbin Harrell Cole Harrell was shot to death after a dispute at a house party.

The dispute eventually moved outside, and Cole was shot once in the chest in the backyard of the home.

Salas-Martinez initially fled, but later returned and was arrested without incident, police said. The other party-goers were taken in for questioning and later released.

"He went to that house for a reason," Corbin said. "There's no reason you go to a stranger's house with a shotgun and pistol unless you go there for a reason."

No one else was wounded in the shooting. Salas-Martinez was jailed and is due back in court Tuesday, according to online court records.

Cole Harrell was shot to death after a dispute at a house party. © Courtesy Corbin Harrell Cole Harrell was shot to death after a dispute at a house party.

"Cole was loved, man," his older brother said. "He was a good kid."

The Hargrave High School grad had just finished welding school and started his first full-time job in Dayton, his brother said.

The Huffman native leaves behind a 5-year-old son. His grieving family has started a GoFundMe to help cover funeral expenses. The online campaign raised more than $7,000 in just over 24 hours.

"It's not just the fact that he's gone," Corbin said late Sunday through tears. "It's the fact that I'm not going to be able to hear that laugh."

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