Houston Teen Killed at 'Project X'-Inspired Party

Movie features three teens who throw an out-of-control party.

ByABC News
March 14, 2012, 4:26 PM

March 15, 2012— -- A spring break rave in a Houston mansion that was meant to emulate a movie turned deadly early Wednesday morning after several attendees fired guns, killing one person as police tried to break up the party.

The unidentified male victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died at Ben Taub General Hospital, Houston police told ABCNews.com.

The party, which attracted between 500 and 1,000 guests, was meant to copy the party thrown in "Project X".

The 2012 movie follows three high school students who throw the ultimate "anything goes" party that spirals out of control. While a damaged home and a bad hangover may be the only consequences partygoers faced in the movie, a string of copycat parties have caused over $100,000 in real damage, handfuls of arrests and the Houston fatality.

Daniel Menjivara, a 22-year-old college student, said "Project X" and the fact it was spring break were the reasons he and many others attended the Houston house party. Menjivara said he was "the exception" at the party and was surprised to find the crowd was mostly composed of teenagers.

"The house got pretty full. You could barely move around," he said.

Trash cans full of spiked punch were set out for partygoers. Wet foam blanketed the floor. Women who wore bathing suits were granted free entry to the party, according to the flyer.

News of the party spread quickly on Facebook and Twitter, attracting a large turnout to the home, which is surrounded by a field. It's not clear if it is occupied during the day. The nearest neighbor is down the street.

Around midnight, police responded to a noise disturbance at the home and shut down the party.

"Kids took to the streets, but the parking lot was overpacked so you couldn't get out," Menjivar said. "It was just people in the actual street. They got into arguments and started shooting each other."

Willie Armstrong, who was at the party, told ABC affiliate KTRK he witnessed the shooting.

"[The gunman] was just walking, and he pulled out a gun and started shooting, like for no reason," Armstrong said. "He shot the boy in the back of the head and fell on the ground. He started shooting at the crowds, but then he ran through the field."

Officers pursued the gunman on foot but were unable to catch him.

"At this time, it has not been determined if the male pursued by officers is the suspect in this case, as it appears several people discharged weapons at the scene," the Houston Police Department said in a statement.

The copycat party wasn't the first in Houston.

Thirteen teenagers were arrested after trashing a new 4,000-square-foot home last Thursday. Nearly every window was smashed. Sheet-rock had been torn out and was left all over the floor of the half-million dollar house.

Police caught up with the teens the next day when they were throwing another party in the new home development.

"I asked some of the kids why, and they said 'Project X.' And I said, 'O.K., what's 'Project X'?'" Mark Stephens, a private investigator working for the home builder told ABC affiliate WFAA. "When you look at the movie, and you look at what happened here, the parallels are uncanny. It was a copycat. They did everything that I saw in the movie."

In Miramar, Fla., Christopher Dade, 18, allegedly caused $19,000 worth of damage to a foreclosed home before he even had the chance to throw his "Project X" inspired party.

The teen posted a four-minute video on YouTube of the house, which he had prepped for the party, complete with "Project X" spraypainted on the walls and "break me" written on a window. Despite arresting Dade on charges of burglary and vandalism, nearly 2,000 people showed up for the all-nighter and were turned away by police.

"We've never had anything of this magnitude," Miramar detective Yesenia Diaz told Channel 10 News of the party.