Houston tenant sets fire to apartment for being evicted, shoots THREE neighbors dead when they try to run out
HOUSTON, TEXAS: A Houston tenant evicted from an apartment due to non-payment of rent for the past three months shot five of his neighbors - killing three of them - after setting their homes on fire to lure them out of the apartment complex they shared early Sunday morning, August 28. The officers fatally shot the gunman after he opened fire on responding officers.
The incident occurred around 1 am in a mixed industrial-residential area of southwest Houston. According to police Chief Troy Finner, police and fire crews responded to the apartment house after reports of a fire. As the other tenants came out of their house, the gunman opened fire, possibly with a shotgun, according to Finner. Two died at the scene, and one died later at a hospital. Firefighters rescued two more injured men, who were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, he said.
As the firefighters battled the fire, the man opened fire, forcing them to take cover until police officers spotted the susceptible gunman and shot him dead, according to Finner. No names have been released, and Finner stated that no firefighters or officers were injured. HPD confirmed the suspect's death and identified him as a Black man in his 40s.
The first officer on the scene was a seven-year veteran of the force. He killed the gunman by opening fire on him. According to department policy, bodycam footage of the shooting will be released within 30 days. It's unclear whether the gunman fired at the officer. The chief said, "Our officer arrived and took action, and for that, I'm very proud of him. He's a seven-year veteran out of the south Gessner division. And again, as usual, per policy, he'll be put on administrative leave," Finner added, ABC13 reported.
The apartments are situated in southwestern Houston at 8020 Dunlap Street. According to KHOU, one of the victims is the 65-year-old on-site manager of the apartments. According to the station, residents are looking for the on-site manager's dog, a German Shepherd named Duke, who was also shot in the attack. ''I´ve seen things I have not seen before in 32 years, and it has happened time and time again,' Finner said. 'We just ask that the community come together''. Finner said that the suspect's eviction ''may have been the trigger point'', ABC13 reported.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the gunman had not been formally evicted but had agreed to leave. He had been packing his belongings for several weeks. He'd been there since 2013. According to a neighbor, Robin Ahrens, who was getting ready for work when he heard what he thought were fireworks. ''I´m just fortunate that I didn´t go outside because he probably would have shot me too,'' he said. ''Something must have just hit him in the last couple of days really hard to where he just didn't care,'' Ahrens added.
Another resident, Troy Lamb, told KHOU, ''I come out and there's a body lying there and a body laying over here. Then when I pulled my car over around, there's a body over there.'' In another interview with ABC13, Lamb said, ''It's shocking. I just thought it was a house fire. Now I find out (about) all this, and I go, 'Wow!' You know? I couldn't believe all this shooting and bodies laying around.'' ''I just thought the bodies were laying around out here from smoke inhalation. I was trying to drag this guy over and the other guy over.''
''It's really crazy. It's brutal murder. I mean, the guy lost his head. I don't know. We'll work through it one way or another. Little by little. Each individual. Some of the guys that live over here, they're going to have to find another place to live'', he adeed.