Three people were killed and two were injured after a man set fire to a Houston home and shot at fleeing residents, police said. The suspect was shot and killed by law enforcement.
Shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, Houston authorities received multiple calls about both the shooting and fire, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said at a press conference.
The incident occurred at what Finner described as a “multiple-room renting facility.” The suspect — an African American man approximately 40-years old — set fire to the home in order to lure residents out and then fired at them with a shotgun, Finner said. He said that police believe the man was a “longtime resident” who had recently been evicted from the facility.
“This suspect, unfortunately, very sadly and very evilly set fire to several residences, laid wait for for those residents to come out and fired upon them,” Finner told reporters.
Finner said that as firefighters arrived to extinguish the blaze, the suspect fired gunshots in an unknown direction, causing firefighters to take cover. Shortly afterwards, an officer from the Houston Police Department arrived and spotted the suspect, who was dressed in all black with a shotgun in a nearby parking lot, and the officer exchanged gunfire with the suspect, killing him, Finner said.
“There was a spent shell next to the suspect’s body, I don’t know if he actually fired right there but the officer engaged in fire and that suspect is on the scene deceased,” Finner said.
The officer who killed the suspect will be placed on leave while the shooting is investigated, per department regulations, Finner said.
Two white males in their 60s were pronounced dead at the scene. Another African American male around 40 years old died after being taken to a local hospital, Finner said. One man was shot in the arm and taken to the hospital. Another person was “injured” while running away and did not seek medical treatment, Finner said.
“I’ve seen things that I haven’t seen before in 32 years, and it’s happened time and time again,” Finner said. “People ask the police chief, ‘Why?’ We don’t know why, we just ask that the community come together.”