2 dead, 1 wounded in murder-suicide at Texas restaurant

Southwest

In this image made from video, police vehicles park outside the scene of a restaurant shooting Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Houston, Texas. Two men were killed and a woman was wounded in what Houston police say was a murder-suicide at a downtown seafood restaurant. (KTRK via AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — Investigators were trying to determine Friday what prompted a man to open fire at a married couple he apparently didn’t know, killing one of them and wounding the other, before fatally shooting himself inside a popular downtown Houston seafood restaurant.

The couple was finishing dinner in the bar of the Downtown Aquarium Restaurant shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday when the man approached them, pulled out a gun and “immediately started firing rounds” at them, Houston police Executive Assistant Chief Matt Slinkard said.

According to witnesses and security video from the restaurant, the man had been sitting at the other end of the bar when he got up, walked over to the couple and shot them, police said. The 29-year-old husband died at the scene while his 24-year-old wife was shot at least once in the leg.

In this image made from video, tables and chairs sit empty at the scene of a restaurant shooting Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Houston, Texas. Two men were killed and a woman was wounded in what Houston police say was a murder-suicide at a downtown seafood restaurant. (KTRK via AP)

The woman was hospitalized in stable condition, Slinkard said. No other injuries were reported, and no identities were immediately released. Autopsies for the two men who died were scheduled for Friday.

“Preliminarily it appears that there was very little or possibly no interaction at all before this shooting occurred,” Slinkard said at a Thursday night news conference.

Police said Friday that the woman wounded in the shooting told investigators she and her husband did not know the man who shot them.

“You know, this is a horribly tragic incident, and you know this is the type of situation that should make us all pause, send out as many prayers as we can for all the families and all the lives that would be affected,” Slinkard said.

It was unclear how many patrons were at the restaurant, but Slinkard said it wasn’t very crowded.

A spokeswoman for the restaurant referred questions about the shooting to Houston police.

The restaurant is popular with families, as it features a 150,000-gallon aquarium and amusement park rides, including a giant Ferris wheel. The dining complex is owned by billionaire Tilman Fertitta’s Landry’s Inc.

Elaine Khalil, who had been eating dinner with her two children, told KTRK-TV she heard two sets of gunshots, including a burst of four of five shots.

She said there was “panic and pandemonium” as people inside ran away.

“The wait staff, they were very composed, they led us to a back staircase where everyone ran out,” she said.

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