At least 3 men shot; 9 detained in suspected human smuggling incident
At least three men were wounded in a shooting Wednesday morning that stemmed from a suspected “human smuggling incident,” police in Houston, Texas, said. Investigators are still unsure exactly where the shooting took place, however.
“We believe they were being smuggled, and they were brought to this area after the shooting occurred,” Houston police Cmdr. Jonathon Halliday told reporters in a Wednesday afternoon news briefing.
The situation unfolded at about 11:30 a.m. local time when officers were called to an IHOP in a west Houston neighborhood, Halliday said.
Officers arrived to find two men, one of whom had a gunshot wound to his arm, according to Halliday. The two told officers they had escaped a human smuggling situation at a nearby hotel.
Officers then learned that two more gunshot victims, believed to be linked to the same incident, had checked themselves in to local hospitals, Halliday said. One had a gunshot wound to the arm, and the other to the leg. All three gunshot victims were stable, he said.
Police, meanwhile, responded to the hotel and stopped two vehicles that were leaving the area, Halliday said. Nine men were detained from those vehicles, but investigators are “not sure which of them are victims, and which of them are possible suspects at this time,” Halliday said.
Investigators also believe one of the gunshot victims could potentially be a suspect, Halliday disclosed.
The victims told police that the shooting had occurred earlier Tuesday morning, possibly in the San Antonio area.
“Based on what the victims are telling us, the shooting occurred about two hours west of here, around I-10 and State Highway 35, which is in the San Antonio area, but we’re not exactly sure where the shooting occurred,” Halliday said.
Agents with the Department of Homeland Security are assisting with the investigation.