HOUSTON – Two children were injured in a drive-by shooting Thursday night in southeast Houston.
It happened just after 6:30 p.m. in the 3900 block of Scott Street near Wheeler, police said.
Investigators said the children's mother went to a nail salon, leaving her three children, aged 11, 8 and 5 in the car. The 8-and-5-year-old children were struck by bullets in the drive-by shooting.
Tristian Hutchins, an 8-year-old boy, was shot in the head, police said. Kheristian Hutchins, a 5-year-old girl, was shot in the leg.
Both were taken to the hospital and the boy remains in critical condition.
The 11-year-old was not injured.
Houston police believe one or more shooters drove by the nail salon in a light-colored vehicle. Police said it is possible that the shooters fired more than one gun.
"We do believe, through our investigation, that this was not random. So I want the public to keep that in mind. We believe there might have been some targeted element. But we do not necessarily believe the children themselves were targeted, but potentially looking for someone else," Houston Police Executive Chief M. Slinkard said.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner made a plea for information in the case during a news conference Friday morning.
"Houston police cannot do it alone. These individuals are people who have no problem harming our children. This is not where the "code of silence" applies about the suspects," Turner said.
"You gotta’ give them up. I don't care if you're the mother, the father, the sister, the brother, you have to give them up. OK? They shot our children. And you cannot give them a safe haven. This is not about a safe code. This is not about being silent. OK? You gotta’ give them up," Turner said.
"I'm tired of seeing young men and women shot in the street of Houston like it doesn't mean anything. Everybody's lives matter," Troy Finner, executive assistant HPD chief, said Thursday night. "For those who don't listen and think we're going to stand by and let our streets become bloodbaths, they got another thing coming."
Councilman Dwight Boykins, who represents the district, was also at the scene Thursday night and just as frustrated.
"If that child dies, people have no idea how they're breaking up families," Boykins said. "If these people getting their hands on guns that are criminals and thugs, they're going to continue to have this."
"If you see something, say something. This is in all our communities, and if you stand by and just let the violence continue, it's going to hit on your doorstep," Finner said.
Turner also weighed in on the shooting, tweeting Thursday night, "I will not tolerate heinous and cowardly acts of violence against innocent children. If you have information about tonight’s double shooting of the 5 year-old and 8 year-old victims on Scott St., please call the authorities. We must work together to keep Houston safe."
I will not tolerate heinous and cowardly acts of violence against innocent children. If you have information about tonight’s double shooting of the 5 year-old and 8 year-old victims on Scott St., please call the authorities. We must work together to keep Houston safe.— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) March 2, 2018
Anyone with information in this case is urged to call the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.