At least four people are dead and two are injured after a shooter set fire to a building and waited for residents to come out before he opened fire, Houston police said Sunday morning.
The suspect, a man about 40 years old, set fire to a “multiple-room renting facility” at 8020 Dunlap Street, where he was a longtime resident, and waited for others to come out before he opened fire, Police Chief Troy Finner said at a news conference.
Police and the Houston Fire Department received multiple shooting and fire calls at around 1:07 a.m. Sunday. When the fire department arrived, the gunman began firing his shotgun, Finner said.
“I don’t know if he was firing in their direction, but they had to take cover,” Finner said.
An officer engaged in gunfire with the suspect. The officer, a seven-year veteran, has been put on administrative leave under department policy.
The suspect is one of the four people who were killed. The other victims are all men ages 40 and up who are believed to be residents of the facility. At least five or six other residents were not injured, Finner said.
Authorities said they believe that the suspect acted alone and that one officer fired his weapon. The shooting remains under investigation.
Finner said the suspect was recently served with an eviction notice.
“I don’t like to speak prematurely too much, but we’re told here at the scene that the suspect was recently notified of an eviction,” he said. “He’s been a longtime resident here, and that may have been a trigger point for him, I don’t know. But that’s part of the investigation.”
Finner asked the community to “come together.”
“This is just sad what’s going on in our nation,” he said. “I’ve seen things that I haven’t seen before in 32 years, and it’s happened time and time again. And people ask the police chief and police leaders why. We don’t even know why right now. But we just ask that the community come together.”