MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 21-year-old soldier from Memphis was killed at a house party in El Paso, Texas, over the weekend, police there confirm.
Spc. DeAngelo Monteza Meriweather, who served as an information technology specialist, had been stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, since 2018. El Paso police say he and four other people were shot early Saturday morning, but Meriweather didn’t survive.
When Meriweather joined the military in 2017, he was following in the footsteps of both his mother and father who had also served in the armed forces.
“Initially, he didn’t want to do the military,” said his father, Donald Meriweather.
But Spc. Meriweather soon had a change of heart. During his short career in the Army, he earned several medals and was deployed to South Korea before being sent to Fort Bliss.
He was at a house party in El Paso Saturday morning when a fight broke out, his father said he was told.
“There was a fight, presumably, that took place before all of this. He was not involved in that and he was leaving because of the fighting,” said Donald Meriweather.
KTSM reports that Joseph Anthony Rocha, 17, has been charged with murder. After the shooting, he allegedly barricaded himself inside the house and live streamed himself before surrendering.
“He was able to go over to Korea where you would think you’d have more chances of being harmed and then to come back home and have a punk to shoot you in the back,” said Donald Meriweather.
Rocha’s bond has been set at $1 million and Meriweather’s father believes he deserves the stiffest punishment permitted.
“If there was any way under the sun that I could get the harshest death brought to him, I would ask for it,” he said.
Family members expect Meriweather’s body to arrive back in Memphis sometime Tuesday.