Family finds grandmother shot in head; home had been previously shot up, police say

HOUSTON – A 79-year-old woman was found dead inside her home just one day after police said her home had been shot up multiple times.

The discovery was made around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at a home on Flamingo Drive near Southbank in southeast Houston, authorities said.

Police said the woman’s daughter and grandson went to her home to check on her in the evening. That is when they found the woman identified as Owena Martin McHenry dead in her bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head.

Family members say the McHenry was 76 years old.

" I just pray for Mrs. McHenry’s daughter her grandchildren and her family,” said neighbor Norma Meadows.

The home had been the scene of an investigation early New Year’s day after reports came in that the home had been shot up around 1 a.m., authorities said.

“We do know that ... her house was shot up multiple times in the confusion with the fireworks and was investigated early this morning for criminal mischief," said Detective Michael Arrington with the Houston Police Department.

Officers said the daughter told them the side door of the home was open when she arrived. Police believe the same shooter from earlier that morning went back to the house to finish the job.

Police said they talked to family members who said that McHenry was kind and generous. Arrington said she even made an addition to her home so that people experiencing homelessness could stay there.

“We all grew up with this lady so you can’t even see anybody even deciding to go into her house and do that,” said neighbor Laquitta Clay.

The news of her death was hard for neighbors who knew McHenry as a kind woman.

“She was our friend for life. Lifetime friends.” said neighbor Jimmy Bingley. “We (were) all friends together ... When I woke up this morning and turned the news on and saw her house, I jumped straight out of bed because I knew something had happened then.”

Investigators said they are still working to learn more details about the shooting, but have narrowed the timeline down to between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

“That is when the suspect or a suspect returned to the house, entered the house and shot (McHenry) in the head," Arrington said. “If anybody has information or saw any vehicles or people walking around this area or the house on New Year’s Eve that fired multiple shots into the house please call Crime Stoppers ... or they can call the homicide division to help us out.”

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS or the HPD homicide division at 713-308-3600.

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