HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner called for quick action Wednesday to arrest the shooter wounded a Sunnyside boy who was watching TV with his grandmother.
The boy is in serious condition after he was hit by a stray bullet when two groups began shooting at the Kings Row apartment complex about 10 p.m. Tuesday, police said.
Turner met with Loriann Milam, the boy’s grandmother, Wednesday afternoon. He relayed what Milam said happened during the shooting. He said that the boy was watching television with his grandmother when the shooting started. He said the boy’s grandmother told the boy to get on the floor, and that’s when the boy collapsed.
"The bullet came from outside in. But she heard the shots being fired. She was telling everybody inside the apartment complex to get on the ground," Turner said.
Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said officers who quickly converged and rushed up to the apartment, grabbed the boy and sped him to Texas Children’s Hospital.
"The officers ran upstairs, into that little boy's apartment, found the little boy and his grandma, grabbed that little boy, ran though this complex to a police car and took him to Texas Children's," Acevedo said.
An impassioned Turner said the police will find the person responsible but they need the community's help.
"Somebody knows somebody," Turner said. "In order for us to do our job well, we have got to have cooperation and support from the community."
Turner, along with other leaders at a Wednesday afternoon news conference, said that children are off-limits.
"When you start hurting our children, all bets are off," Turner said. "We will utilize whatever resources we need to get you off the streets ... leave the babies alone."
Milam had a message for the mayor after Tuesday’s shooting.
"I want my grandson to live,” Milam said. “He's 4 years old. For all that don't understand and got other things to say, it's not right for a 4-year-old to have to go through this. Mayor Turner, do something. That's all I'm asking. Do something before another child ends up shot.”
Turner said he approved $1 million in overtime for officers.
A spokesman for Turner released the following statement before his visit:
"Earlier this year, Mayor Turner allocated more than $1 million to the Houston Police Department’s overtime budget to focus on combating crime in neighborhoods. You can follow-up with HPD about its strategy.
"However, the mayor has also stressed that neither he nor the police chief can be everywhere, all the time.
"Mayor Turner has encouraged citizens to fight crime in their neighborhoods by reporting criminal activity especially when they know someone - including a family member, neighbor or friend- is potentially violent and committing other criminal activity.
"Mayor Turner is putting manpower and extra hours on the street and has not reduced the HPD budget during the city’s need to tighten its financial belt, but he believes everyone, including himself as mayor, is responsible for stopping senseless crime."
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.