A man in Houston, Texas on Sunday set a building with people inside it on fire and then shot at them as they tried to flee the burning building. A police officer with the Houston Police Department then shot the suspect and killed him.
Three people including the suspect were killed and two people were injured. Houston Police chief Troy Finner said the victims were all men and were between 40 to 60 years of age.
According to local news outlets, the fire department and the police received multiple calls around 1:07 am (local time). Finner said the police received two calls regarding a person being shot and another one regarding a shooting incident. The fire personnel received a call saying that there was a fire.
“This suspect, unfortunately, and very sadly, and very evilly, set fire to several residents. The suspect then laid in wait for those residents to come out and fired upon them,” Finner said.
The incident occurred at a multi room rental facility near 8020 Dunlap St.
The police officials said that upon reaching the site the firemen retreated from the gunman before fighting the fire. The police are unsure if the suspect shot at the direction of the firemen but said they were forced to take cover.
A Houston police officer shortly arrived at the scene to find the suspect in a parking lot across the street from the facility. The seven-year-veteran engaged in gunfire with the man who was an African American male of about 40 years old and killed him. As per protocol of the Houston Police Department, the officer is now on administrative leave.
Houston police chief Finner backed his colleague and said he was very proud of him. He said that the man could have tried to shoot other people. Finner also said that the suspect was a longtime resident at the facility but recently received an eviction notice. He said the eviction notice may have acted as a trigger point for the suspect.
Finner said that two probes are being conducted. The district attorney’s office is conducting one investigation while a probe has also been launched by the Houston police department.
(with inputs from CNN)