Tracking crime trends: 5 people injured in drive-by shooting at hookah lounge on Washington Avenue, police say

HOUSTON – Houston police are investigating a shooting they said left five people injured at a hookah lounge on Washington Avenue Tuesday.

Investigators said the shooter fired a rifle around 1:45 a.m. outside the Azuza Hookah Bar and Lounge.

Authorities said victims Roderick Sims, 21, Rashad Samples, 26, Joey Perryman, 20, and Lauren Ehlers, 28, all suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. A fifth victim, Yevette Cano, 21, suffered gunshot fragments to the arm. Police said they are all expected to recover from their injuries.

According to investigators, a security guard at the bar had denied access to three men. It is believed, in retaliation, they returned to the club and shot at the location, striking the victims. The men were inside a black sedan, police said.

This shooting happened in an area that is already on edge due to recent gun violence.

“Our biggest concern is the uptick in crime, violent crime,” said Stacie Fairchild, the vice president of Super Neighborhood 22 which includes the Washington Corridor area. “We are going to see more people killed, more people injured.”

KPRC 2 has previously reported on a shooting at Clé nightclub where people were shot and killed inside over Memorial Day weekend.

Around the same time, armed robbers had customers on the ground at the CVS on Washington Avenue.

Neighbors say they’ve heard random gunfire in the middle of the night.

“Nowhere we are several incidents later and it’s only getting worse, we need our elected officials to act now,” Fairchild said.

KPRC 2 crunched the numbers and compared what crime looked like on Washington Avenue for January through April of 2021 and prior to the pandemic from January through April of 2019.

We found that aggravated assaults went up, drug violations went up and so did weapons violations. But simple assaults, burglaries went down.

“I know there are a lot of concerns out here in the Washington corridor concerning the recent increase in crime and I will assure you my Chief has everyone’s safety at heart and we have the best interest to deploy our resources in the near future to enforce public safety,” said Houston Police Asst. Chief Ben Tien.

Fairchild looks forward to more resources to help curb violence in her neighborhood.

“We are hopeful that HPD is going to be able to help us long term, however, they are just treating the symptoms of a systemic issue,” Fairchild said.

Anyone with information on these shootings is urged to contact the HPD Major Assaults and Family Violence Division at 713-308-8800 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.