Police said that at around 1 a.m. a suspect set fire to a multi-residential building on the city’s southwest side and shot at residents as they evacuated the building.
“This suspect, unfortunately, and very sadly, and very evilly, set fire to several residences, laid wait, for those residents to come out and fired upon them,” said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.
Finner said the Houston Fire Department arrived at the scene first, and as they prepared to fight the fire, the suspected gunman started firing a gun. It is unclear whether the gunman was firing at the firefighters, but the HFD had to take cover.
HPD arrived on the scene shortly after, spotted the suspect in a parking lot across the street from the facility and engaged in gunfire with the suspect. Finner said the suspect was an African American male, approximately 40 years old, dressed in all black and armed with a shotgun.
Neighbor Robin Ahrens told the Houston Chronicle that the man was evicted from the building because he was behind of the rent and didn’t have a job. It was also revealed that the suspect had colon cancer.
Finner said he was proud of the officer that neutralized the suspect, saying he arrived and took action. The police chief said the officer who shot and killed the suspect is a seven-year veteran on the force and will be placed on administrative leave per policy as investigations are conducted.
Two white males in their 60s were pronounced dead at the scene, an African American male in his 40s was transported to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries and another male, about 40-50 years old, was transported to the hospital with a gunshot wound to his arm. A fifth male was also injured as he ran aware from the gunfire but was not transported to the hospital, according to authorities.
Police have not yet identified the victims, and Finner said no first responders were injured in the crossfire.
“It’s just sad what’s going on in our nation, and I always ask for prayer. And I’m going to ask for prayer now,” Finner said.
HFD Emergency Operations Assistant Chief Michael Mire followed Finner’s comments, saying the first responders handled the situation well.
Mire noted that even when the firefighters found themselves in the crossfire, they still focused their attention on the possible victims in the structure. Mire said firefighters were able to pull two people out of the structure, and some victims were transported to the hospital.
An investigation is ongoing at this time. This is a breaking news story, refresh for more updates.