5 things for Houstonians to know for Friday, July 2

Growing concern about Delta COVID variant

Here are things to know for Friday, July 2:

1. Woman dead, 1-year-old injured in shooting; suspect out on 7 felony bonds, police say

A woman is dead and a child was injured after a shooting at a west Houston apartment complex, Houston police said.

The shooting happened around 10:35 a.m. Thursday at the Apex at Royal Oaks apartment complex on Westpark Drive near Wilcrest Drive, authorities said.

Police said they responded to a shooting at the location, and when they arrived, they found a woman who had been shot four times and was in critical condition. Family has identified the mother and son as Layla Steele and Zeus. Steele’s family said Zeus’ first birthday was Thursday, the same day as the shooting.

Emergency responders performed CPR on the woman while they worked to transport her to a hospital, authorities said. Through CPR, they were able to get the woman’s pulse back, but police said she eventually succumbed to her injuries.

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2.Lawsuit filed by Texas sheriffs, counties, ICE officers against President Biden, administration

A lawsuit has been filed by several Texas sheriffs and counties along with an association of ICE officers against President Joe Biden and the leadership of his Department of Homeland Security.

The lawsuit includes Sheriff Brad Coe of Kinney County, Texas, Sheriff Emmet Shelton of McMullen County, Texas, and Sheriff Rand Henderson of Montgomery County, Texas. The suit, Sheriff Brad Coe, et al. v. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., et al., accuses the Biden Administration of “violating federal statutes that require certain illegal aliens to be detained and removed from the U.S.”

On Feb. 18, Alejandro Mayorkas, with the Department of Homeland Security, issued a policy memorandum that prevents ICE officers from detaining or removing illegal immigrants, according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs are asking the Biden Administration to “follow the law and to allow the ICE officers to do their job,” according to the lawsuit. Its states that ICE officers requested “permission to take custody of numerous dangerous illegal aliens, including child rapists and drug dealers, but have been denied permission by their superiors under the Biden Administration policy.”

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3. Delta variant exploits low vaccine rates, easing of rules

The latest alarming coronavirus variant is exploiting low global vaccination rates and a rush to ease pandemic restrictions, adding new urgency to the drive to get more shots in arms and slow its supercharged spread.

The vaccines most used in Western countries still appear to offer strong protection against the highly contagious delta variant, first identified in India and now spreading in more than 90 other countries.

But the World Health Organization warned this week that the trifecta of easier-to-spread strains, insufficiently immunized populations and a drop in mask use and other public health measures before the virus is better contained will “delay the end of the pandemic.”

The delta variant is positioned to take full advantage of those weaknesses.

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4. 10-year-old hailed a hero after saving 5-year-old girl who was seen ‘lifeless’ at the bottom of pool

A 10-year-old boy is being celebrated for his heroic acts after swimming to the bottom of his apartment complex’s pool to pull a 5-year-old girl out. He received a special surprise after EMS said his actions saved the girl’s life.

On Sunday, Rickie August Jr., also known as “Junior,” was swimming when he noticed a little girl in trouble near the bottom of the pool at an apartment complex in north Harris County.

“When I saw her not moving at all, I knew there was something wrong,” he said.

The girl seemed to be lifeless, so Junior acted quickly, swimming up for air and then swimming right back down.

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5. Ankle monitor helps police identify man accused of sexually assaulting, robbing woman in west Houston hotel room

Houston police used surveillance video and GPS from a suspect’s ankle monitor to identified the man who they believe attacked, raped and robbed a woman in her West Houston hotel room.

Isaac Osei-Kuffour, 24, is charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated sexual assault for the January 2021 attack on a woman at a hotel in the Westchase District. Kuffour is currently behind bars in an East Texas prison.

According to court documents, the woman said she received a knock on her hotel room door and assumed it was the Door Dash delivery person.

When the woman opened the door without checking the peephole, court documents say a man forced his way into the room, pointed a gun at the woman, ordered her to go stand in a back corner of the room and demanded her to take off her clothes.

Kuffour is accused of sexually assaulting the woman, and robbing her for cash and a cellphone.

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