A Houston shooting incident Monday morning came to a close with the death of the suspected gunman, Houston police officials claim. The shooting took place early this morning around 6:30 a.m. local time at a strip mall near Weslayan and Bissonnet Streets in southwest Houston, very close to a Randall’s grocery store franchise. Current reports indicate that nine people were wounded as the suspected gunman opened fire on passing vehicles, with at least one in critical condition.
The Houston shooting suspect was confirmed to have been shot at 8:28 a.m. when the Houston police department sent out an update from their Twitter account.
Active shooter at Weslayan & Bissonnet has been shot by our officers; no reports of other suspects at this time #hounews— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) September 26, 2016
Shortly after that, the local police officers responding to the early morning Houston shooting confirmed that the suspected gunman was “DOA,” or dead on arrival.
Active shooter scene still active but contained. Suspect DOA. Media staging area at Wells Fargo parking lot at 3900 Bissonnett & Weslayan.— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) September 26, 2016
According to CNN, the Houston police identified the suspected gunman’s vehicle, which contained a number of additional weapons. Interim Houston Police Chief Martha Montalvo told reporters that the bomb squad had been called in to safely examine and clear the automobile. Montalvo also stated that the FBI was at the scene and that the next steps would be to search the suspected gunman’s apartment and social media accounts for clues as to a motivation behind the shooting.
Houston police have not released the name of the suspected shooter, but Interim Chief Montalvo did state that the suspect was a local lawyer. She also stated that there were “questions” surrounding his law firm, which has led to speculation that the gunman was disgruntled or suffered from some kind of mental trauma. At this time there is no clear motive for the Houston shooting, but police officials have stressed that the gunman appeared to be acting alone.
Witnesses to the sudden shooting in southwest Houston were understandably shaken as they told their stories to the media Monday morning. One witness, Eduardo Andrade, 42, told Chron that he stumbled into the situation on his way to exercise at his local gym.
“As I was driving by Law Street I suddenly heard a big explosion,” said Andrade. “I covered myself, accelerated and tried to get out of there. I did not know if someone was following me or trying to shoot me.”
Andrade went on to show reporters where two bullets had come through the windshield and passenger side window of his vehicle, close enough that he could feel the heat of air as they whizzed by.
“It’s so random, think of it, if I was driving a little faster or a little slower, the bullet would have had a different trajectory,” he said.
Another witness, Antoine Wilson, similarly was thrust into the active shooting completely by surprise.
“I didn’t realize I was right there by the shooter,” Wilson said. “Gunshots, I literally hear the gunshots pass my face, ’cause I’m leaning out the window looking, trying to see.”
Wilson was caught in the midst of what he describes as a firefight as police in squad cars, other vehicles, and helicopters surrounded the area along with fire and rescue crews.
“I’m talking about steady gunshots, just steady shooting, back and forth… police and the shooter. Helicopters were everywhere.” Wilson said of the Houston shooting. “I’m still shaken up.”
According to Houston officials, the total active shooting incident lasted for roughly 20 minutes of active fire. Three of those who were injured were treated and released this morning. Houston Fire Department spokesperson Ruy Lozano said that at least six people of the nine injured received gunshot wounds during the shooting.
Victims of the Houston shooting were taken to several local hospitals, with one listed as being in critical condition. The other victims seem likely to recover fully. At this time, little else is known about the motivations behind the shooting itself, but it appears that first respondents were able to contain the situation effectively and prevent the gunman from continuing his planned shooting spree in southwest Houston.
[Featured Image by Bob Levey/Getty Images]