Aug 28, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Gunman kills 3 at Houston property after starting fire to lure victims out

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner speaks to the media following the shooting deaths of three men.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner. Photo: Lao Chengyue/Xinhua via Getty Images

A man in Houston killed three of his neighbors after setting fire to multiple units at a rental complex Sunday and shooting at those evacuating, before he was shot and killed by a police officer, authorities said.

Details: The shooting happened at about 1am Sunday. The suspected gunman, whose name was not released, is a man in his 40s who had been recently told he would be evicted from the complex.

  • “That may have been a trigger point for him — I don't know,” said Police Chief Troy Finner at a news conference Sunday. “That’s part of the investigation.”
  • The victims were not named, but Finner said they were men between the ages of 40 and 60. Finner said authorities believe they were all residents of the complex.

Finner said the gunman "unfortunately and very sadly" set fire to the units in an attempt to draw residents out of the rooms so he could attack them in an ambush, Finner said.

  • The fire and police departments got the calls about the fire and shooting at around 1am. Firefighters arrived first on the scene but had to take cover when the gunman opened fire.
  • Officers found the man in a parking lot across the street from the complex when they arrived, before an officer shot and killed him.
  • The officer who killed the gunman has been placed on administrative leave per Houston Police Department policy.

Two victims were pronounced dead at the scene, and a third died at the hospital.

What he's saying: "It's just sad what's going on in our nation. I've seen things that I haven't seen before in 32 years," Finner said after asking the public to pray for the victims and the city.

  • "And it’s happened time and time again, and people ask the police chief and police leaders, ‘Why?’ And we don’t even know right now. We just ask that the community come together.”
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