HOUSTON – Two young women and their families are demanding answers and an apology from the Harris County Sheriff's Office after the 17- and 20-year-olds were held at gunpoint by a deputy at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last week.
It happened as several law enforcement agencies were investigating reports of shots fired in the carnival area Tuesday night.
London and Paige, a high school junior, asked that we identify them only by their first names.
The best friends said they were caught up in the chaos and confusion after hearing reports of a shooter.
"It looked like they were running for their lives so our natural human instinct is to run for our lives too -- all we hear is it's a shooting, it's a shooting," Paige said.
But they quickly found themselves under suspicion when a Harris County deputy stopped them in their tracks.
"Next thing I know I hear put your hands where I can see them. And the cop proceeds to say I have two black females, I got the shooters, I need backup, I turn my head 2 centimeters and I see a gun in this man's hand," Paige said.
The young women said they were terrified as the deputy patted them down and afraid of what would happen if they even flinched.
"He kept saying, 'I know you had a gun' and manhandling both of us."
"I was just praying to God please London please don't move a muscle because I don't want to lose my sister today," Paige said.
Family members say the Sheriff's Office needs to review its policies and procedures.
"I think they do need re-training because the initial response should not be pull out that gun and put your gun in a child's face," said London's mother Vanessa Posey.
In a statement to Channel 2, a spokesman for HSCO wrote:
"A Harris County sheriff’s deputy briefly detained two females who matched a general description of individuals who were initially believed to have been involved in the discharge of a firearm at NRG Park on the night of Tuesday, March 14, 2017. The females were released after officers determined they were not involved in the incident."