Three victims are dead after a man set fire to a rental property in Houston and then opened fire as they tried to escape, police said on Sunday.
Per a report from regional outlet KHOU 11, the suspect was ultimately shot and killed by a responding police officer who has now been placed on administrative leave. Citing comments from the owner of the facility in question, the outlet added that the suspect had recently been evicted from the property.
In an initial statement on Sunday, the Houston Police Department said commanders and others were on their way to the scene of what was then described as “an officer-involved shooting” on Dunlap St. In a subsequent press conference, HPD Chief Troy Finner was joined by the Houston Fire Department to provide additional details.
“We’ve got a total of four individuals dead out here which includes the shooting suspect,” Finner told reporters on Sunday. “The facility out here is a multiple room-renting facility. We had a question [of] was it a boarding house, it’s not. The owner said they just rent rooms here. Approximately at 1:07 a.m. HFD and HPD had received multiple calls. One call came in as a person down, another call came in as a shooting, and also a fire call came in. This suspect unfortunately and very sadly and very evilly set fire to several residents, laid wait for those residents to come out, and fired upon them.”
HFD officers were the first on the scene and were allegedly forced to take cover as the suspect started to fire, though it wasn’t clear if he was also firing in the direction of fire officials. The suspect, according to police, was armed with a shotgun.
“All of these families can you imagine? … All our spiritual leaders in and around our city and also outside our city around our nation, let’s pray,” Finner said Sunday. “I’ve seen things that I haven’t seen before in 32 years.”
Initial reports did not reveal the name of the deceased suspect or the identity of those killed. Complex has reached out to HPD and HFD reps for additional comment. This post may be updated.