Teen accused of killing another teen at high school graduation party out on bond

HOUSTON – The family of a teenager killed at a high school graduation party is calling for justice after the suspected gunman was released from jail on bond.

According to court documents, police arrested 18-year-old Omari Sykes for the June 5 killing of 17-year-old Nashibo Taylor, Jr., a student at Cypress Ridge High School.

Taylor was shot and killed in the hallway of the Doubletree Hotel on Greenway Plaza. At the time of the shooting, Sykes was out on bond for an April 2021 charge of evading arrest. Court documents reveal after the shooting, Sykes left the hotel and was later arrested on June 7.

According to court records, Sykes posted a $100,000 bond last week. In an email written to KPRC 2, a representative for Taylor’s family said they want his bond revoked.

“It’s gut-wrenching. It’s like being sucker-punched all over again by our criminal justice system,” said Andy Kahan with Crimestoppers Houston.

Kahan said he has not seen a trend like this in his 35-year long career.

“I wish I could say this is an anomaly, but it’s par for the course,” Kahan said. “It used to be one bond per customer you were out on that bond, and you were charged, particularly if you are charged with murder, guess what, you aren’t getting back out again, but that’s not happening.”

Sykes appeared with his lawyer in a Harris County courtroom Monday.

“We understand how the family feels. This is a difficult time for them, and we respect that,” said Sykes’ attorney, Cheryl Irvin. “As he said to me a minute ago, he can understand them being upset because if his family was in a reverse position, they would be upset, so we respect the family and their loss during this very difficult time.”

Sykes is not allowed to leave his house without a judge’s permission.