SPRING, Texas – A child was killed and his father was shot several times during what the Harris County Sheriff's Office is calling an apparent home invasion robbery in Spring.
According to authorities, the shooting happened around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at an apartment complex on Trailing Vine Road and Stepinwolf Lane.
A father was in his open garage with his 2-year-old son, identified as Ivory West Jr., and a friend when they were approached by two men, deputies said.
Deputies said the men immediately opened fire on the three. Ivory was killed, his father was shot about 10 times in the abdomen and the father’s friend was shot in the leg, authorities said.
The father was transported to a hospital via Life Flight. He is in stable condition, deputies said.
Tanika Martinez lives just above the garage with her family and heard the gunshots.
"I heard a lot of fireworks, right after following, I heard a lot of gunshots and a little screaming after that," Martinez said. "It's just an awful feeling."
During the shooting, Ivory's mother, who was inside the apartment with a 2-month-old child, told authorities she heard fireworks and came downstairs to investigate, where she encountered one of the shooters, authorities said.
The woman told authorities the man demanded money from her at gunpoint. She told the man they didn’t have any money, deputies said.
According to authorities, both men ran away through the complex heading toward Aldine Westfield.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the fireworks happened immediately prior to the shooting and may have been used as a ploy to distract people from the shooting.
Gonzalez called the crime a senseless act, saying these types of crime are becoming more prevalent.
“It’s so senseless at the end of the day and whatever they could have taken doesn’t put a price on any life," Gonzalez said. "It just shows how reckless and total disregard for human life there is that they didn’t get away with anything as far as we know."
"When I hear 2 years old, all I know is that's a child who's innocent, a child who loves life, a child who loves his parents, a child who loves to play," family friend Pastor Lee Skinner of Good Shepherd Baptist Church said. "I knew I had to come just to let this mother know we're not gonna let you go through this alone."
The men are described as two black men between the ages of 25 and 35. They are believed to be around 5 feet, 10 inches to 6 feet tall, Gonzalez said.
One of the men was last seen wearing a black Nike hoodie with gold letters across the front, a black cap and black pants. The other was wearing a gray T-shirt and a red cap.
Investigators are working to learn more details about what led to the shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.