HOUSTON – A man reportedly evicted from a southwest Houston home allegedly set fire to the building to lure tenants from their homes then shot five of them — killing three — before he was shot by a Houston police officer, police say.
Multiple agencies, including the Houston Police Department and the Houston Fire Department, responded to multiple reports at a home that was used as a multi-rental property at the 8000 block of Dunlap Street near Bissonnet Street at around 1 a.m, Chief Troy Finner said in a news conference.
‘This suspect unfortunately very sadly, very evilly, set fire to several residences, laid wait, for those residents to come out and fired upon,’ said Finner.
At some point, the suspect began to intentionally set fire on the property, according to Chief Finner.
When the suspect waited for the residents to come out of the home, Chief Finner said he allegedly began shooting at them, possibly with a shotgun.
Police say three of the residents died. Two men died at the scene and the third died at an area hospital.
Additionally, two residents were transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
Finner said when firefighters arrived at the home, the suspect then began shooting once more, although it is unclear if the suspect was shooting up in the air or directly at them.
Houston fire assistant chief Mire said the suspect started shooting towards firefighters @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/vExoKMOlIu— Rilwan Balogun (@KPRC2Rilwan) August 28, 2022
An HPD officer arrived at the scene just as firefighters were putting out the fire and spotted the suspect standing across from the property. When police said the suspect picked up his shotgun, the officer pulled out his gun and shot him one time.
The suspect died at the scene, according to Chief Finner.
The victims, who were residents, appeared to be between 40-60 years old.
No officers or firefighters were injured.
“I’ve seen things I have not seen before in 32 years and it has happened time and time again,” Finner said. “People asked police chief and police leaders ‘Why?’ We don’t even know why now but we just ask the community to come together.”
“This suspect unfortunately very sadly, very evilly, set fire to several residence, laid wait, for those residents to come out and fired upon,” said Chief @TroyFinner— Rilwan Balogun (@KPRC2Rilwan) August 28, 2022
3 dead, 2 injured. Police kill gunman. https://t.co/bHiZqLi7mu pic.twitter.com/cAt53DUDFb
Finner said that the suspect, described as a man in his 40s, was a longtime resident who was reportedly about to be evicted from the property.
“That may have been the trigger point,” he said.
The officer who fired at the suspect, a 7-year veteran with HPD, will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation and per protocol, according to police.