CINCO RANCH, Texas – Two men are dead and two others are in jail after a robbery, chase and shootout in the Cinco Ranch area overnight.
A gang task force squad of Harris County deputies and DPS troopers had been tracking the group of four men, wanted in connection with up to 12 robberies in Harris and Fort Bend counties, for two weeks, DPS said.
Task force members watched three of the men enter a Walgreens near Westheimer Parkway and South Mason Road around 11 p.m. on Tuesday.
When officers confronted the suspects, they fled in a pickup, driven by the fourth man. Seconds later, the suspects stopped the pickup and opened fire, and officers returned fire, DPS said.
Neighbors at the Aston At Cinco Ranch Apartments watched the event unfold feet away. A bullet pierced one apartment window. The woman inside wasn’t hit, but she was in so much shock, she went to the hospital, her son said.
One suspect died at the scene, a second was pronounced dead at the hospital. Two other suspects, both 21, were arrested at the scene.
“We got all four of them,” one officer told a neighbor, the neighbor said.
“It was terrifying,” added the neighbor, who did not want to be identified. “We thought we were going to get shot.”
“The guy they arrested was just a kid,” another neighbor said. “Maybe 18, 19 or 20.”
According to Sgt. Stephen Woodard, multiple weapons were recovered at the scene. The identities of the suspects were not released.
No officers were severely injured, but Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said one trooper may have minor injuries from broken glass.
"This has been a violent crew that has been on a bit of a crime spree for the last two weeks or so," Gonzalez said. "This is dangerous work (deputies) are involved in and for us, at the end of the day, we are happy none of our law enforcement officers were hurt."
Woodard said during a news conference that the situation is unfortunate for all parties.
“This task force, they deal with violent individuals almost on a daily basis,” Woodard said. “It’s an unfortunate situation for both parties. We are keeping the families in mind, of the deceased, because again, someone has lost a child and we want to keep that in mind.”