5 things for Houstonians to know for Monday, April 26

Police are searching for 40-year-old Erica Hernandez, who has been missing since Sunday, April 18, 2021. (HPD)

Here are things to know for Monday, April 26:

1. Prosecutors: Man claimed he wanted to commit a mass shooting while trying to buy a gun

A man is being sought by police after prosecutors said he claimed he wanted to commit a mass shooting while he was trying to buy a gun earlier this month.

Joseph Anthony Abreu, 32, has a broad and lengthy criminal history that dates back to 2009. It includes charges of prostitution, evading arrest and criminal trespassing. He is now facing a charge of attempted possession of a firearm by a felon after prosecutors said he tried to purchase a gun at and Academy Sports & Outdoors on April 16.

“He does have a prior felony conviction which under state law prohibits him from possessing a firearm,” said Victoriano Flores, a Harris County assistant district attorney.

According to court records, Abreu tried to purchase a 9 mm pistol and was told the firearm would come with a six-round magazine and an eight-round magazine.

“That’s fine,” Abreu replied, according to court records. “I got eight rounds to kill eight people.”

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2. Video shows missing mother of 3 outside sister-in-law’s house night before disappearance

Ring video shows a missing mother of three’s last moments the night before her disappearance. Now, a $1,000 reward has been donated in hopes of getting new information on her whereabouts and what happened the night she was last seen.

The video shows 40-year-old Erica Hernandez walking outside of her sister-in-law’s house.

Investigators say Hernandez was last seen last Sunday near Highway 288 and the Beltway driving a black GMC Acadia. It has a Texas license plate MKJ-3303.

Crews ended their search Saturday afternoon but will Sunday at 2 p.m. and continue looking for the car.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Houston Police Department at (832) 394-1840 or call Texas EquuSearch at (281) 309-9500.

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3. More than 1.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses Texas-bound

More than 1.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses are headed Texas’ way for next week, state health officials said Friday.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said that 708,460 first doses of the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been allocated to 928 providers in 129 Texas counties, while 570,520 second doses also have been ordered.

An estimated 470,000 first and second doses were allocated to pharmacies, federally qualified health centers and dialysis centers. Also, with the federal pause on the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine now lifted, the federal government is expected to make doses of that vaccine available as soon as this weekend.

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4. Texas per capita new COVID-19 cases still in bottom quarter

Texas is seeing 165 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population over the past two weeks, keeping the state in 40th place among the states and territories in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Over the past two weeks, Texas has averaged almost 3,400 new cases per day. Johns Hopkins data show the state also has had 174 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 population over the past two weeks, ranking 24th in the nation.

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5. ‘I think we’ve learned a lot’: NFL executive addresses controversy surrounding Deshaun Watson

The NFL has remained relatively quiet on the allegations made against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, other than confirming the league will indeed be conducting an investigation.

Saturday, a league executive spoke about the lawsuits. NFL Executive Vice President of Operations Troy Vincent discussed the situation on Fox Sports’ “Up On Game” podcast, hosted by Lavar Arrington, Plaxico Burress, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Vincent was asked how the league would navigate what’s going on with Watson.

“I think we’ve learned a lot, I’ve been part of it, from Ray Rice, on how we look at violence towards women, or the allegations of violence against women,” Vincent said. “Lisa Friel has led our investigations there, and every case is different, and rather than assuming and jumping out there, you get all the facts in.”

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