One man was shot to death and two others were beaten when robbers broke into a northwest Houston house Tuesday.
Officials said four to five armed men barged through the front door of a house on Dolly Wright at Cora Street shortly after 6:30 a.m.
They shot and killed Emil Williams, 41, and pistol-whipped his wife and another person.
"The suspects were looking for something cause they ransacked the interior and then they left. I don't know if they were spooked or what, but they left. They dropped some evidence in the yard, so we're gathering that right now," said Lt. Dan Harris with the Houston Police Department Homicide Division.
The suspects escaped in Williams' BMW. It was found abandoned a few blocks away.
"I been knowing Emil since I was 15 years old and I'm 41 now, and he was an awesome family (man). But as a family, we're devastated by what's going on," Latasha Ruegamer said.
Williams owned a street-sweeping company that specializes in cleaning parking lots. He was on parole when he was killed. His criminal record dates back to 1996. It includes convictions for dog-fighting and a 20-year sentence for arson.
Neighbors said he and his wife lived quietly and were often seen walking the neighborhood for exercise.
"You'd be surprised the things that go on while you're in your own home, thinking your safe," neighbor Paulette Williams said.